As many of you know, I consider Easter the most important day on the Christian calendar. After all, it’s our commemoration of the day that our rose again triumphant over death as our savior. How can you realize that and not be celebratory and overjoyed with the realization?
Yet, for far too many of us, Easter is more of a time for candy and egg hunts rather than the celebration of the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus. In order to offset the negativity and commercialization of Easter, I often find myself looking for specifically Christian resources to teach my children about the holiday and its meaning. Easter Stories: Classic Tales for the Holy Season is one of the new resources that I’m excited about sharing with my children to help teach them the meaning of Easter.
Easter Stories is comprised of twenty-seven short story selections. Many of these are classic tales such as, Oscar Wilde’s “The Selfish Giant” and Anton Checkov’s “The Student.” However, there are also several newer, more contemporary tales, such as “The Church of the Washing of the Feet” or “Stories from the Cotton Patch Gospel.”
Some of the stories directly reference the Easter and the Easter story. For example, “How Donkeys Got the Spirit of Contradiction” reframes the donkey of Jesus’s triumphal entry as belonging to a Samaritan. As the story unfolds, we find that it is the same Samaritan who gave Joseph and Mary a stable to sleep in and who helped a wounded Israelite when no others took the time. This story was explicit in it’s use of the Bible to create a story. It was also one of my children’s favorite stories in the collection as they have a deep love for animals.
Other stories, such as “The Church of the Washing of the Feet” don’t bring a message of Jesus’s death and resurrection as much as they paint a picture of Christ’s love and what that looks like in us. “The Church of the Washing of the Feet” is set in apartheid-era South Africa and paints a beautiful picture of racial reconciliation and love among followers of Jesus.
One of the things I appreciated as a parent is the forward that a couple of the stories have explaining how that story came about. For example, in “How Donkeys Got the Spirit of Contradiction,” we learn that the pastor who wrote this story wrote as a way to raise courage and gather strength among the people he pastored and networked with to help them remain strong in hiding Jewish children from the Nazis in World War II, something we could really relate to as we only finished our study of World War II about three weeks ago.
As far as the details of the book go, the book is a thick book with nice pages and a comfortable sized text for reading aloud. There’s also a lovely woodcut illustration paired with each story at the beginning of the story. It really helps to set the tone for each story.
Of course, the final test for a book of stories such as these is whether or not the children like the stories. I can successfully report that my nine year old enjoys the stories and that my eight year old gets excited every time I pull this book out. It’s a beautiful collection of stories that I look forward to sharing again and again with my older children and pulling out for my younger ones as they get big enough to enjoy the stories.
And, for the best part! I am giving away a copy of this book to one lucky commenter. Just leave me a comment and I’ll enter you to win this giveaway. Giveaway ends on March 14, 2015.
“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”