Here are several religious-themed Easter books that have crossed our desks recently, plus two others: one about the spring Festival of Colors and Catholic Communion.
“CELEBRATING A CHRIST-CENTERED EASTER: Children’s Edition,” by Emily Belle Freeman and David Butler, illustrated by Ryan Jeppesen, Ensign Peak, $17.99
Based on Emily Belle Freeman’s “Celebrating a Christ-Centered Easter,” this picture book version shares seven people or groups of people and their role in the Easter story. The authors share a scripture, the person or group’s story, a summary statement, a question to personalize the celebration and a suggested activity. The activities can be done one a day or several in a day.
Each person or group — those who welcomed Jesus on Palm Sunday, Simon who carried the cross, Joseph and Nicodemus, Mary Magdalene and the disciples including Thomas — is shared chronologically in the Easter story. A recurring illustration adds the next person or group as each is mentioned in the book.
“Celebrating a Christ-Centered Easter: Children’s Edition” offers a solution to those of any age wanting to make Easter a more spiritual experience.
Going from A to Z, author M. Weber Longoria shares words in rhyming couplets associated with spring and Easter. The verses, some with multiple words starting with the designated letter, are paired with art from artists including James C. Christensen, Simon Dewey, Kathy Fincher and Robert Duncan.
“THE SYMBOLS OF EASTER,” by Rachelle Pace Castor, Cedar Fort, $14.99
With rhyming verses, Rachelle Pace Castor connects springtime traditions of Easter egg hunts and treats and sights of blooming tulips and young animals to the spiritual aspects of Jesus Christ’s life and Atonement.
The book includes art from Jon McNaughton, Ronald Bayens, Annie Henrie Nader, Kyle Henry, Linda Curley Christensen and Del Parson and can be fitting for more than just Easter.
This board book features the lyrics of Roger and Melanie Hoffman’s song by the same name and focuses on the events in the Garden of Gethsemane. The words are paired with art from Simon Dewey, Howard Lyon, Greg Olsen, Liz Lemon Swindle, Del Parson, Jay Bryant Ward, Jeff Ward and Annie Henrie Nader.
“FESTIVAL OF COLORS,” by Kabir Sehgal and Surishtha Sehgal, illustrated by Vashti Harrison, Beach Lane Books, $17.99
Through the eyes of Chintoo and Mintoo, this picture book shares information about the springtime Hindu Festival of Colors. From gathering different colors of petals to making the color powders and the fun of spending the event with family and friends, the story and vivid colors of the illustrations make this an entertaining and informative book for those not familiar with the festival.
The authors, a mother-son duo, include a note in the back that shares more about the festival and its symbols of new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil.
“THE NIGHT BEFORE MY FIRST COMMUNION,” by Natasha Wing, illustrated by Amy Wummer, Grosset and Dunlap, $4.99 (ages 3-5)
A brother and sister prepare for this Catholic rite of passage in the 24th installment of author Natasha Wing’s Night Before series.
The siblings are excited and understandably nervous as the day of their first communion comes, but they share how they have been preparing and how their family is excited for them, too.
With rhymes and lively illustrations, this book also echoes Clement C. Moore’s “The Night Before Christmas.”