I was in a bookstore recently–lots of children’s books about spring and little chicks. It was nice, but it’s no substitute for books about Easter. Easter is more than nice. Easter changed everything. It’s a new day, a new beginning. It’s a promise kept; a promise not to just to be remembered. It’s a promise kept that we live on, grow on, lean on. Easter is about Jesus, the Savior.
The Parable of the Lily by Liz Curtis Higgs, illustrated by Nancy Munger and published by Thomas Nelson Publishers (2007) is a picture book. On the surface it tells a simple story—a child’s rejection of a gift. But The Parable of the Lily has a deep truth to share. The story may help your child connect on an emotional level with Jesus and the Easter story.
On a cold, snowy day a little girl receives a letter that a gift is being sent to her. Maggie eagerly waits for it. Finally, it arrives. But it surprises and disappoints her. How Maggie discovers the gift’s value and her response to her discovery is the rest of the story.
Bible verses on each page-spread link Maggie’s story with the story of Jesus and His resurrection. This simple story depicts the emotional responses of the people of the first century to the Father’s wonderful gift of Jesus. But the story does not just show the responses of people long ago. People today still reject God’s gift.
The watercolor and pencil illustrations are colorful and gently evocative. Important emotions and actions are vividly portrayed. Munger has also added sweet, humorous touches to her pages by depicting friendly animals that watch the actions of the main characters and sometimes even participate in the unfolding story.
Books 4 Christian Kids has other suggestions of Easter books that you might want to share with your dear ones.
(A note: Before you go looking for the above books at an online bookstore, be sure to write down the author as well as the title. I found that many books shared the same title.)
I also like the magnificently illustrated picture book Exodus which tells the story of Passover. The drama of God’s deliverance of the Israelites will capture the imaginations of older children. When they learn in Sunday school or from you that it is linked to the Easter story, their faith in God and His love will also grow.
Nancy Ellen Hird is a mom, a writer and a credentialed teacher. (She taught seventh grade and preschool.) Her latest works for children are I Get a Clue and We All Get a Clue, mystery novels for girls 10-13. For several years she was a freelance reviewer of children’s and teen’s literature for the Focus on the Family website.