While it’s fun to celebrate baby animals and the arrival of springtime at this time of year, our family has tried very hard to keep the focus of Easter on the resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ. One of the ways we accomplish this goal is that the Easter Bunny doesn’t visit our house on Easter morning. Instead, our kids wake up to a fun basket full of goodies (which they know comes from Mom and Dad) the day before Easter. We still do egg hunts and eat too much candy, but as much as possible, we try to remember the reason we’re celebrating in the first place.
One way we keep our attention on Christ is through reading meaningful books in the days leading up to Easter. There is a lot of junk out there, so I to want to save you the time of wading through it by sharing 15 of our favorite meaningful Easter books.
Here they are, in no particular order:
The sweet story and beautiful illustrations in this book teach a profound message in a simple to understand way. I loved this line:
“Just as a chick breaks out of an egg, so had Jesus broken free of the the tomb of death. Easter eggs remind us that Jesus conquered death and gives us eternal life.”
With text directly from the King James Bible and gorgeous illustrations that are reminiscent of intricate stained glass windows, this book is absolutely gorgeous. The emotions of the story come through so clearly in the illustrations which makes this story we’ve heard and read so many times come to life.
Stunning illustrations with a gold-leaf effect and simplified text of the story of Easter. The story is told from the perspective of the donkey whom Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. The text in this book is perfect if you want to share the Easter story with younger children, but it will also draw in older kids. My 11 year old made several comments about the beautiful illustrations as she read through the book herself.
This book tells the fictionalized story of Simon, the man who helped to carry Jesus’ cross. I adore Anna Luraschi’s illustrations in this book. Simply love them. The story itself is beautiful and symbolic, if not entirely accurate (Simon is only briefly mentioned in the scriptures, so there’s not a whole lot to go on). All in all, a lovely book.
At Jerusalem’s Gate: Poems of Easter by Nikki Grimes
I would recommend this book for older children, as I think the symbolism and poetry will go right over most younger children’s heads. Nikki Grimes’ poetry is a deep and meaningful testimony of the Savior and His sacrifice for us. The wood-cut illustrations are gorgeous, however, so younger kids would still really enjoy that aspect.
Sweet illustrations fill this book about the true reason we celebrate Easter. This book is a light, gentle conversation between a Papa polar bear and one of his children about the meaning behind all the symbols of Christmas. It’s the perfect explanation for the little ones in your life. I loved this line:
“The Easter Bunny is like Santa,” Papa Bear said. “He reminds us of gifts and happy surprises in the morning. But God is the one who gave us Easter. “
This book tells the story of Christ’s Ministry and his Crucifixion and Resurrection through the eyes of his disciple, John. I loved reading about this miracle from another perspective and feel like John’s voice adds a lot to the story. Beautiful illustrations, too.
This book tells the story of Christ’s life, from Birth to Resurrection. Stunning illustrations and beautifully written words.
This book includes everything from poetry and stories to passages directly from the bible. Beautiful illustrations abound. This would be a perfect book to work your way through in morning time, or to use as a short devotional/bedtime story each day.
The text for this book is taken directly from the gospels of Matthew, Luke and John. The illustrations are darker than some of the other books I’ve mentioned, but intricate and beautiful nonetheless. Older children would probably gain more from this book than the younger set would.
Good Friday by Louise Ulmer
Maybe not the most beautiful of the books on this list, but it very effectively and simply tells the story of Christ’s crucifixion. A great introduction for younger children.
The Centurion at the Cross by Eric Bohnet
From the same publisher as the book above, and again, it’s not an incredible book. But it is a short and sweet introduction and a simple retelling of part of the Easter story.
Vinegar Boy by Alberta Hawse
A chapter book that would work well either as a read aloud or for older children for independent reading.
Celebrating a Christ-Centered Easter: seven traditions to lead us closer to Jesus Christ by Emily Belle Freeman
Meaningful ideas from a Mama of Many to help your family celebrate Christ’s Resurrection.
A beautiful 40 day Lent devotional. You know anything by Max Lucado is going to be incredible, and this book does not disappoint. This is basically a compilation of some of his other works.