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Best Easter Books for Kids

best-easter-books-for-kids

photo by photoholic1

Today Lydia and I read all the books on her bookshelf that had to do with Jesus’ death and resurrection (aka “easter”). I know at 3 years old she can’t understand it. She doesn’t even know what death is. She’s never experienced it or known someone who died. But today, as I held her in my arms and read 5 or 6 versions of the greatest story ever told, I got tears in my eyes. I know that the truth of Jesus’ love for us will be planted in her heart.

The book I love the most for “easter” is The Parable Of The Lily by Liz Curtis Higgs. This is part of a series that gives a meaningful parable (aren’t all parables meaningful?) to common holiday items (like my favorite Christmas book, The Parable of the Christmas Tree).

The Parable of the Lily is about a little girl, Maggie who gets a surprise package in the mail—a box of dirt! She is disappointed and places it on a shelf. One day she accidentally knocks it over and out of the dirt pops a flower bulb. She is aggravated at her plant and throws it into the yard. Early Easter morning, she walks out into the garden to see that her dirty ugly boring bulb has blossomed into a beautiful lily!

The parable-ness comes in when you read the scriptures on the bottom of each page. Higgs uses scriptures to compare Jesus to this flower—an unimpressive man, hated and rejected by his people, dead in the ground for three days, bursts forth with new life for everyone. She also ties in Maggie’s father as the giver of the gift…just like God’s indescribable gift of Jesus to us.

It’s a beautiful book. I read it to Lydia once, then again with the scriptures. I wish I had thought of it earlier and we would have planted a lily, too. What an object lesson for her to see growing in her own front yard!

We also read The Easter Story by Tracy Harrast. It’s part of the Peek-a-Bible series, a fun lift-the-flap series. I like this one because it tells all the important parts of the story—Palm Sunday, the Last Supper, Garden of Gethsemane, the crucifixion, the resurrection, Jesus’ appearance to the disciples and his ascension.

The very last page does have a picture of some modern day kids holding Easter baskets, but at least it doesn’t talk about eggs or bunnies.

Then we “read” my new favorite version of the Resurrection story from the See With Me Bible: The Bible Told in Pictures by Dennis Jones.

There are no words. Just pictures. And it is breathtaking. Jones absolutely captures the emotion of the story. It is the only book of all our books that actually showed Jesus in pain and with wounds (cartoon-ish, but still…). I couldn’t find any online to share with you but I highly recommend this book!

The last book you could probably see coming a mile away since I have probably blogged about it 80 times. Yes, its the The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name by Sally Lloyd Jones.

There are about six different stories surrounding Jesus’ passion–Mary anointing Jesus’ feet, Jesus washing the disciples’ feet at the last supper, the garden of Gethsemane, the crucifixion, the resurrection, Jesus appearing to the disciples & ascension. Here’s the best part…

“If you were really the Son of God, you could just climb down off that cross!” they said.

And of course they were right…But Jesus stayed. You see, they didn’t understand. It wasn’t the nails that kept Jesus there. It was love.

“Papa?” Jesus cried, frantically searching the sky. “Papa? Where are you? Don’t leave me!”

And for the first time–and the last–when he spoke, nothing happened. Just a horrible endless silence. God didn’t answer. He turned away from his Boy.

Tears rolled down Jesus’ face. The face of the One who would wipe away every tear from every eye…

The full force of the storm of God’s fierce anger at sin was coming down. On his own Son. Instead of his people. It was the only way God could destroy sin, and not destroy his children whose hearts were filled with sin.

Then Jesus shouted out in a loud voice, “It is finished!”

And it was. He had done it. Jesus had rescued the whole world.

:: :: :: :: ::

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to impress your kids’ heart with God’s ultimate story this easter season. Grab these books and give them in (or in place of) an easter basket. Then, make them a part of your book rotation, not just at easter-time—this is the story that should be central to your kids’ lives…and to yours!

Do you have a favorite easter book to share?

amanda-sig-3

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“O” Books

We stopped at the library today to look for “O” books. I really wanted a book about an octopus, but none of them were available at our library! These looked especially cute.

Instead we found…

Oscar Otter which is a pretty cute book with lots of animals and is esentially about obeying your dad.

Oscar’s Spots a fun book about a leopard who doesn’t want his spots anymore. With the help of a funny magician, he gets his wish…and a few surprises!

and

My “o” Sound Box which is a series of books about the sounds of every letter. Not a terribly interesting book but fun to see lots of words with the letter you’re working on.

Oh, and Lydia found The Bear’s Toothache because it obviously has TWO O’s in the title! She was so excited to recognize those two O’s!

Do you have any “o” books to recommend?

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What We Usually Do

Each week, here’s what I try to do. I’m not “homeschooling” her every day or anything. I just try to integrate our verse & letter into about 3 different activities across 3 different days. If I actually get all 3 of these things done I feel VERY VERY accomplished. Each post following this one will showcase one or more of these segments:

Day 1:

First: Find a Verse

We read the verse from the Bible, write it down on paper and then repeat it a few times. I try to pick verses that actually begin with the letter we’re focusing on. That doesn’t always work. Some verses are inappropriate for a preschooler…

“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth— ofr your love is more delightful than wine.” Song of Solomon 1:2

or they just don’t mean much…

“Designate a place outside the camp where you can go to relieve yourself.” Deuteronomy 23:12

I want to put scriptures into my children’s hearts that will be helpful to them (DO NOT BE AFRAID!) or that show some great quality about God (GOD IS LOVE!).

I usually look at the New International Reader’s Version first. It’s on a 3rd grade reading level and is in short sentences. However, I also use BibleGateway.com to look at several versions, in case something is written a little bit easier (or to make it start with our letter!)

Second: Go to Starfall.com

This is seriously my favorite thing ever. It’s a free site for parents and teachers. It’s got all kinds of computer “games” that teach letters and reading. The ABC portion is so cute. You click a letter and then it goes through all sorts of words that begin with that letter–they’ll show pictures, animations and even games. But the best part is it says the letter’s sound every time you click. I love listening to my daughter repeat the sounds with every page.

Third: Find a craft

I try to find a picture or craft that can be on our same Bible verse page. We display it all week…mainly so I can remember to say the verse with her. So, we’re not talking big honkin’ craft here. Just something more than coloring is all I’m after. We’ve done stamps, fun foam, feathers, yarn…whatever just happens to be laying around the house. Seriously, I have NEVER bought anything for this crafty endeavor.

There are tons of great sites out there. You can view them all on my sidebar.

Fourth: Letter Recognition
I usually print a Capital & Lowercase letter and let Lydia trace it. I found a great site that has the printable letters with the directional arrows on each one. Not that my daughter uses or understands the directional arrows. But still, it’s fun for her.

The tracing of the letters, the computer game, craft and Bible verse MAY take us a half an hour to a full hour. It’s not structured. I don’t make her do the craft the way I want. (Wait till you see the elephant she made for E. yikes.) It’s just about introducing the letter and saying the verse as many times as she’ll do it!

When our crafts and coloring sheets are done, we hang them up in the living room. She loves looking at her “abc verse” all week…especially if someone comes over, that’s the first thing she wants to show them.

Day 2: Activity

I try to find something else to do that goes with our letter.

C? Are you making chicken for dinner? Let your preschooler help.

A? Going grocery shopping? Let your son pick out three things at the store that begin with A. (uhm…apples, apricots and artichokes)

K? Go fly a kite!

E? Tivo a show about elephants.

F? Make an American Flag from tissue paper and let your child display it in their room.

Just whatever I can find online, remember from doing as a kid, or can just make fit into our letter.

Day 3: Library Books

We go to the library and look for books that begin with our letter. Or are somewhat about our letter. Or about the craft we did.

For example, the letter A; I found books about Johnny Appleseed. Then I just searched our card catalog for anything that had to do with apples. For B, we got Berenstain’s B Book. For C we looked for books about cats and caterpillars. For E I found Elmer the Elephant. You just have to search around.

Hope this helps! Please leave comments or questions!

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