Saturday, April 2, 2011

Picture Book Recommendations For Easter

There's nothing like picture books for setting the mood for a holiday. We're sharing a few of our Easter favorites below. Feel free to add your recommendations, too!
Geraldine Elschner and Alexandra Junge use a clever story to teach young people how Easter is determined in The Easter Chick. Sometimes in March, sometimes in April... just how is this holiday scheduled?  Hilda has a precious chick that starts telling Mama it wants to be born on Easter morning, a very very special day. So Hilda sets out to find the answer.  Kids will love how the chick is already "awake" inside the shell, asking Mama questions. Parents will love how time is reviewed for kids, including moon illustrations!, not to mention the devotion of a parent for its offspring even before they are born, and all the conversations that spin off from a story like this.  (Yes, I talked to you before you were born, too, and you talked back with your kicks and wiggles and hiccups!)  And the little chick uses tally marks to keep track of days. The lovely illustrations make each page interesting.

I SPY meets Willy Wonka and the chocolate Factory in Michael Garland's, The Great Easter Egg Hunt. Steeped in Easter imagery such as eggs, chicks, bonnets, and bunnies, this is a fun way to gear up for the season.  Unlike I SPY books, there is a real story here.  Tommy follows clues from his Aunt to meet a surprise from his Aunt. Tommy's journey takes us into a wonderland that small children will relish (chocolate bunny factory, jelly bean machine, etc.).  Read the book with pencil and paper and tally up the images as you go to see if you can find all the hidden objects.  This was our first Garland search book, and hands down remains our favorite!

A very sweet tale of how the Easter Bunny came to be is what you'll find in The Story of the Easter Rabbit, by Katherine Tegen.  A "round old couple" started making eggs and chocolates as surprises for their neighbors on Easter morning. After awhile, they grew too old and tired to keep up the tradition, though they obviously loved doing it. Their pet rabbit steps in to the rescue!  At first he just helps. Eventually, he takes over and his bunny friends help him. He becomes so popular he move to a secret spot where the children won't learn of his secrets.  Cute illustrations, loving story.
You're right. This ISN'T technically an Easter story but it is a family favorite about a hen, eggs, and a loving family.  We found this treat of a story at the library when my oldest was 3 and loved it so much we had to get our own copy. My husband even likes to read it!  While on a walk, the Dad in the story dives in a pond to rescue a drowning hen. They wrap her up and take her home to warm up.  "Queenie" takes over the dog's bed and the family's heart. Soon enough, they find the farm where Queenie came from and return her.  "That might have been the end of the story, but it wasn't!"  Queenie returns to lay an egg in the dog basket every day thereafter! Things got busy as a new baby entered the family, and the eggs were forgotten until they hatched (warmed up by the dog).  The family brought the chicks back to the farm but big sister gets to keep one. BONUS!  From seeing Mom's bump sticking out in the tub, to decorations for the baby's room, cute illustrations allow for a great discussion of all that happens when a new baby arrives.   One of my favorite parts is how the illustrations depart from stereo type... the Dad in this story has long hair and does the knitting.  :)

More on this one later...We love the illustrations and sweet story.


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