Children’s Books to Read for Easter

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Christmas has certainly cornered the market on educational, spiritual, and meaningful resources for children. However, there are still some good reads to explore for Easter with children.

You would not believe how excited my kids are about the pile of Easter stuff on the office chair. They are cracking me up with their enthusiasm. Obviously, we don’t make as big a deal out of Easter as we do Christmas. Not sure how that happened.

Anyway, since our Spring Break started yesterday, it’s the perfect weekend for us to dig into some of these activities. Yesterday we got a few boxes from Amazon, including a couple Easter books. Many children clustered about me last night to listen to stories.

Here are some suggestions for your Easter reading (And head’s up! If you make a purchase through the Amazon links below, I receive a small percentage of the sale):

The Jesus Storybook Bible – We love this children’s adaptation of the Bible. The story is told in words that are easily understood and the author takes care to explain different concepts or meanings throughout. The whole premise of the book is that all of the Bible is about Jesus.

Benjamin’s Box – I actually had a copy of this book over fifteen years ago, but I gave it away in a fit of over-reactionism. At the time I took exception to the fictionalization of the events of Holy Week. Today, I just laugh at myself. I think this story is a great child’s eye view of Holy Week and Jesus’ death and resurrection. It’s based on true events, though some things are imagination based on what could have happened. After reading it as a family, my nine-year old told me how excited he was to open the Resurrection Eggs.

The Ballad of Matthew’s Begats – One of my favorite authors and songwriters, Andrew Peterson, crafted a beautiful “Christmas” album, Behold the Lamb of God, which tells the story of the Bible in light of Jesus. This song, The Ballad of Matthew’s Begats, is a fun rendition of Jesus’ family tree. The book comes with a sing along CD. And the song is pretty easy (and fun) to memorize.

The Tale of Three Trees – We usually read this book at Christmas time, but it’s so appropriate for Easter, I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before. This is a great story about three trees who wanted to be important and do great things. They are surprised how God uses them in seemingly unimportant, but mighty ways.

The Bronze Bow – It’s been years since I read this, though it’s on our school reading list for later this year. It is a poignant tale of a young and angry boy, Jamin, living in Roman-occupied Israel. Jesus transforms his life. I remember bawling my way through the end. This book won the Newbury Medal fifty years ago. (This book is for children 8 and older.)

The Legend of the Easter Egg – This book tells the story of Thomas and his sister Lucy and how the story behind the Easter Egg brings new meaning and hope to their lives.

The Parable of the Lily – This book is new to us. I’m not sure if it will become a family favorite, or not. Sometimes these kids surprise me. It is not exactly gospel-driven, but it is a sweet story of new life, God’s good gifts and forgiveness.

Have you got a favorite read for Easter?

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  1. The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes. It isn’t about Jesus, but it has a good message about equality, persistence, caring, and hard work.

  2. Thanks for the recommendations.

    I am not a religious person but do feel it is important for my kids to understand the reasons behind holidays like Christmas and Easter so that 1. they understand it’s not all about treats and presents and so that 2. they can be respectful of their friends who do believe.

    While I have the story of Christmas down pretty well, Holy Week and Easter are a bit fuzzy (no bunny allusions intended :).

  3. My personal favorite, told from the perspective of the donkey carrying Jesus on Palm Sunday, is The Easter Story by Brian Wildsmith.

  4. Peter’s First Easter by Walter Wangerin Jr. It is a beautiful, moving book. My favorite Easter read by far 🙂

  5. Much newer books would be the Bunny Books by Gabriel Bench. Ester Bunny is first, and we discover why she is the first Easter bunny (and about staying true to your beliefs). Evan Bunny is next. He’s Ester’s grandson, and learns the hard way the dangers of pride. Finally, is Ella Bunny who learns about the true joy that comes from knowing God loves her (and us all). The books get progressively more “Christian”. They’re not well known, but can be found on Amazon.

  6. We read three of the books you have listed, including the Jesus Storybook Bible, Three Trees, and Benjamin’s Box. I’ve just put a few more you listed in my Amazon shopping cart. Thanks for the suggestions. Do you think the Bronze Bow would be too hard or too emotional for a younger kid? My son is a very verbal 4.5 year old. We read elementary books all the time–I read them to him and he enjoys them.

    1. I don’t know if it’s too emotional. Just might be boring. It’s written for an older child. You might like it for you, though.

      1. I obviously was in a hurry or something because I missed that it was a long book and ordered it a week or so ago. It’s way too long and boring for my son, but I am starting a reading group with a friend, and I thought we might end up reading it for that. It looks like an interesting story. So, you’re right on both counts.

  7. The only one of these we have read if The Parable of the Lily. I met the author and had her sign it. She is an amazing Christian author.

  8. I LOVE this list, Jessica! While it is too late for me to order them in time for Easter this year, I am definitely ‘pinning’ them for next year:-) Thanks SO much for sharing!

  9. Wonderful post! More parents should incorporate the Biblical message of easter into their festivities.

    I’m author to a religious Christian children’s book, “Ima Pea” that you may enjoy. I’d be happy to send you a copy if you’d like one!

    Keep up the great work!