Easter is much more than egg hunts and candy. Easter is about Jesus, God’s Son. He is risen; He is risen indeed. Here are a few books to share His story with little ones.

My Easter Basket: And the True Story of Easter by Mary Manz Simon, illustrated by Linda Clearwater and published by Standard Publishing (2002) is a board book that uses colors to help tell the Easter story. The book shows the popular culture’s symbols of Easter–a basket, eggs, chicks and flowers–while the text tells the real meaning of Easter. In the first picture a green egg is shown but never mentioned. Instead the rhyme tells of the green for the palm branches when Jesus entered Jerusalem. Next a yellow chick is seen but the text tells of yellow for the sun and what Jesus has done. It continues with a picture of purple flowers while the words talk of Jesus with His disciples and the wine. The last page ends with the risen Jesus standing with young children.

An Easter Gift for Me by Crystal Bowman, illustrated by Claudine Gevry  and published by Zonderkidz (2007) is also a board book. Its excellent rhyme tells about the cross and Jesus’ death in a child friendly way. It explains clearly that some of the people didn’t understand God’s plan and killed Jesus. It lets children know that others cried. But then the child learns Jesus is God and He didn’t stay dead. He’s alive. The last page teaches about trusting Jesus so that someday the child will see Him in heaven. What a comforting reassurance for both kids and adults!

The Easter Story is a Peek-a-Bible and lift the flap book by Tracy Harrast, illustrated by Terry Workman and published by Zonderkidz (2001). On the first page everyone’s waving palm branches. When the child lifts the flap, he will see a close-up of Jesus on the donkey. On another page the disciples are around the table with Jesus eating the bread. When the child lifts this flap, he sees Jesus drinking the wine. The guards on another page look stern but when the child lifts the flap, he sees an angel has rolled away the stone. The book ends with Jesus telling His disciples to go and tell the good news. When you lift the last flap, Jesus is going into heaven on a cloud. Wordlessly each lifting of a flap adds to the story. Each lifting helps the child participate in the story and keeps him traveling on until the end.

Carol Green, a graduate of Northwestern, is married and the mother of three adult children. Her five grandchildren affectionately call her “Grams cracker.”

She is the published author of many poems for both adults and children; three coloring books: God Gave Me Five, ABC Fun Book, and Color God’s World Bright; and the picture book: My Mom Loves Me.