I suppose it’s time I speak a bit about Easter books then. Okay: it’s a seriously underserved genre!!! Unlike Christmas–which offers a broad spectrum of everything in between light and silly to evocative and religious– Easter falls flat. Maybe because we don’t promote the Easter Bunny, I find this to be so. See, St. Nick has a very real and relevant connection to Christmas… so he has found his way into our homes… but the Easter Bunny is so random and distracting from the Resurrection, the most glorious and important day of the Christian year, that I’ve little desire for his inclusion on our Sunday festivities. Oh, the children get baskets, sure. We do egg hunts and eat too much candy like everyone else, but their is no pretense of a giant bunny coming in the middle of the night. No, it’s a joyful, festive, relaxed day that follows a dramatic and spectacular vigil celebration Mass the night before.
That said, you’ll find a small handful of sweet bunny stories out there (mixed with the saccharine or kitschy stories), and you’ll find a small handful of religious books (of varying quality) out there. And you’ll find a select few wonderful out of print books out there too. But if you want to buy just one, beautiful story to be told year after year, it’s this one: The Easter Story by Brian Wildsmith (one of my very favorite illustrators). It’s hard to find a book that doesn’t talk down to children about the Crucifixion (if it gets presented at all), but this one manages a perfect, family-friendly balance. And the gold leaf illustrations are superb. I bought this book two years ago and somehow it’s gone out of print since then, but you really ought to get a copy anyhow, used or otherwise. In the meantime, I really hope more authors jump on the bandwagon and start creating some lovely Easter tales…
“On Easter Day the veil between time and eternity
thins to gossamer.”