Book: The Easter Story
Author: Carol Heyer
Illustrator: Carol Heyer
Publisher: Ideal Children’s Books
Audience: Ages 4 and up
Summary: This story is written in a simplistic manner for the age group, with beautiful illustrations. It begins in a contemporary fashion showing Easter as a time of newness and Easter baskets filled with eggs and candy. It quickly moves to Jesus and all that Jesus did for us. On the second page there is a beautiful picture and a simple description of the birth of Christ. It goes very quickly to the teachings of Jesus, healing the sick, telling parables, giving the Commandments, and Palm Sunday. The story goes into the Last Supper, using words such as “unleavened” and “Passover”. The story continues with the Garden, the last day, the Crucifixion, the empty tomb, and seeing Jesus again.
Literary elements at work in the story: This story is in a narrative form that is connected in a way that moves from Easter to Christmas and back to Holy Week and Easter.The majority of the book describes the events of Holy Week.There are words used that will be difficult for a small child, but to begin hearing words such as “Passover” and “unleavened” will allow the readers to question the meaning of the words. Consequently the vocabularies of the young readers can be expanded.
How does the perspective on gender/race/culture/economics/abilitymake a difference to the story? This is handled appropriately and the characters are all portrayed as Middle Easterners.
Theological Conversation Partners: This book moved on page 2 to the birth of Christ, which is very appropriate. The reverse should also be the case in stories written about Christmas (i.e., Christmas is of little significance without the Easter Story). It is the resurrection of Christ – The Easter Story – that makes the birth of Christ significant. Without the Easter Story, the manger would have been the birth of a child – any child.
Faith Talk Questions:
- Why does the story open with the Easter Story and immediately go to the birth narrative?
- Why did Jesus get so angry with the people in the temple?
- Why did the people and the temple leaders turn away from him?
- What is the significance of the thunder and lightning in the dark sky after Jesus’ death?
- What is the significance of the empty tomb found by the ladies?
This review was written by Union Presbyterian Seminary student Becky Albright.