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For more information about Easter, see "Easter and Jesus" (an excellent article prepared by high school students in Australia), or "How do we know that Jesus Christ really rose from the dead?" (presents assumptions, historical facts, and more).

Scroll down to see the books I recommend for Easter, which includes both religious and nonreligious titles. To read additional reviews on these items or for pricing information, just click on any book cover or the handy links provided.

The Parable of the Lily, by Liz Curtis Higgs, illustrated by Nancy Munger (1997, Thomas Nelson), hardcover (32 pages), ages 4-8.

In this series, Liz Curtis Higgs and Nancy Munger team up their talents to create beautiful parable books perfect for the holidays. Like the other Parable books, this one tells a story revolving around the Farmer's family (the Farmer representing God, our loving Father). His daughter Maggie receives a box of dirt with a bulb hidden inside as a gift, but neglects it and eventually tosses it out. On Easter Sunday, she runs outside to pick spring flowers and discovers a beautiful lily--the gift her own father, the Farmer, gave her. Scripture verses appear throughout, telling the story of Jesus as God's gift to us--and ultimately, teaches a lesson about forgiveness. It's a beautiful book for Easter. Although I have personal concerns about the origin of this series by Thomas Nelson, I must admit there's nothing else like it on the market. This is an excellent book for the season.

The Classic Tale of the Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams (1991, Running Press Book Publishers), hardcover, ages 4-8.

I hope you've read this book--it's truly a treasure. When I first read it to our oldest son, I could hardly finish it without succumbing to tears. This is the classic version, a truly beautiful story about how a toy is loved and becomes "real."

The Velveteen Rabbit (board book version), by Margery Williams, illustrated by David Jorgensen (1990, Knopf), boardbook, infant to old.

This is the shortened, board book version of the classic tale of a velveteen rabbit transformed by the love of a young boy. We bought both versions for our family library; although this shortened version loses some of the heartstring-pull of the longer version, this one is ideal for little ones--the pages are stiff and the story is easy to sit through for shorter attention spans. A nice complement to the original version.

I Am A Bunny, by Richard Scarry (1967, Golden Press), hardcover, ages infant to preschool.

OUT OF PRINT--but priceless! and will try to track down a copy for you, or let you know if it's been brought back in a reprint. I found my copy at a yard sale while looking for baby things for our first son, and we've worn it out after two children. It opens with "Hi. I'm Nicholas," and shows Nicholas the bunny romping through the seasons. Richard Scarry's illustrations add wonderful charm to this sweet tale. It's definitely a book worth tracking down.

Benjamin's Box: A Resurrection Story, by Melody Carlson, illstrated by Jack Stockman (1997, Multnomah Publishers), hardback (40 pages), ages 4-8.

Our family bought this beautiful book last year for Easter and it's now an annual favorite. This fictional story about a Bible-times boy named Benjamin offers a unique perspective on the traditional story of Jesus Christ's crucifixion and resurrection. As he follows Jesus during the Passover week, Benjamin collects twelve tokens (or momentos) as reminders of Jesus and His teachings. Each page features a special moment in Jesus' life, and a corresponding momento. I found similar items in our local craft store and put them in plastic Easter eggs, which I arranged in an empty egg carton. As we read this book together, my children can hardly wait to open the egg for each page. I also used this book and egg set with our neighbor children. It's a wonderful way to teach the story of Jesus and the true meaning of Easter.

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Updated March 29, 2002

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