Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor compensated in any other way.If you're looking for a picture book to read together with your family next Lent or one to read during the 50 days of Eastertide, The Easter Storybook: 40 Bible Stories Showing Who Jesus Is from David C. Cook could be a good choice.
The Easter Storybook: 40 Bible Stories Showing Who Jesus Is by Laura Richie with illustrations by Ian Dale is a sweet 92-page hardback picture book that aims to show the beauty, love, and grace of Jesus as our Rescuer, Redeemer, and Friend.
Each of the 40 stories in the book - which trace Jesus' footsteps from his boyhood time in the temple to His Ascension - is written and illustrated in such a way that a 4-8 year old can understand and remember while an older child or adult can remain engaged.
At the beginning of each story, a day, title, reference to the Bible, and quote from the Bible are listed.
An example of the way the author includes the truths of Bible stories at a level appropriate for a variety of ages was pointed out by my children when we read the story "Jesus Offers Grace". This story explains that "a woman was dragged in front of the crowd" and announced to be "a bad sinner." It does not, however, speak of adultery as a actual Bible story where Jesus tells those without sin to cast the first stone does.
My children, having heard the real Bible story multiple times at Mass, asked why the author left out details, and, then, when I asked them why they thought she did, had the "Oh..." moment of realizing that adults, older children, and children who are familiar with the content of actual Bible stories can fill in details themselves while younger children can understand the story without being tripped p by such concepts as adultery, which they might not be ready for.
Likewise, my children, who are ages 9-14, noted how the author seemed to add some background and commentary to stories. For example, in "The Good Samaritan", she offers simple details about the typical relationship between Jews and Samaratins and about the good Samaritan's choice to love.
The stories, therefore, unfold with enough simplicity for children to understand, enough embedded commentary for them to connect dots, and enough interest to help readers and listeners to recognize the purpose and spiritual significance of each event from Jesus' life that is told.
My children and I have, of course, been reading our way through this book as a part of our Lenten practices and are finding that, although we are familiar with each of the Bible stories retold for young children in the book, we can appreciate how they are told and illustrated.
I am also wishing I had this book when my children were younger, because I think it would have been a gentle and lovely introduction to Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. (Some of the picture books we read when my children were younger were definitely not as gentle when dealing with Jesus' death, especially.) Thus, I recommend it, especially, to those with young children or grandchildren and to those with sensitive young ones.
Further, I recommend to those whose attention may have been diverted during Lent - especially with recent world events - as a way to refocus on Jesus as alight for the nations our Rescuer, so filled with love and mercy.
Truly, our Lord has not abandoned us. He loves us and will draw us closer to each other and to Him this Easter season and forever!
Over 40 Homeschool Review Crew families received this delightful picture book for review. See what each family thought by clicking through the review links on the Homeschool Review Crew website.
You can also connect on social media with David C. Cooke, a publisher of music, books, Bible studies and more for children and adults, whose The Action Bible Anytime Devotions book I recently reviewed.
Happy reading! May your Holy Week and Eastertide be blessed and beautiful!