While I don't LOVE the word Easter, it gets the point across. In our home, we use the term Resurrection Day to refer to when we celebrate our risen Messiah! No matter what you call it, use this season intentionally with your children.
Nearly every believer I know spends time gearing up for Christmas. Some of us call it Advent - a time to expect and hope. We do special things with our children to be sure they have memories surrounding the memorial of our Savior's birth.
As Spring holidays approach, we often allow our Messiah's resurrection to become a one day celebration overshadowed by bunnies, baskets, and eggs. Years ago, when my sons were small, I determined in my heart that would not happen. I decided that my sons would be given beautiful memories and we would read special books, and our family would be dedicated to anticipating and learning about His Passover (read this if you want details on Passover from the standpoint of a Christian) and Resurrection in the same way we anticipate and hope during Advent.
One way we do this is through amazing, living books that keep Jesus at the center!
Picture books for Easter that keep Jesus at the center.
1. The Tale of Three Trees retold by Angela Elwell Hunt
This is the priceless story of three trees each with a special desire to be used in the world in a specific way. As the story twists and turns, we are reminded how we only see a tiny part of what God is doing at any time. This is a MUST READ - a family favorite!
2. On That Easter Morning by Mary Joslin
Beginning with Palm Sunday and carrying us through the emotion and beauty of His death, burial, and resurrection, this book is a beautifully told story for all ages to enjoy.
3. The One O' Clock Miracle by Mitchell & Echeverri
This book is requested by my boys over and again. The illustrations are so fun and the story about Jesus healing the official's son jumps of the pages bringing home the truth of Jesus's healing power.
4. The Bread and The Wine: The Story of the Last Supper by Denise Ahern
Walk through the Last Supper with a boy who was there.
5. Petook: The Rooster Who Met Jesus by Tomie DePaola
This one will grab your heartstrings. Jesus as a tender young boy to Jesus, the Savior on the cross. Read it and be marked by the Gospel message in a new way.
6. The Garden, The Curtain, and The Cross by Carl Laferton
Don't miss out on this amazing book that describes the way redemption was built into every part of humanity's story from the beginning.
7. Easter in the Garden by Pamela Kennedy
Told from the perspective of a little boy in a garden during the time of Jesus' death, this sweet tale will bring the Gospel alive in a new way for your family.
8. The Friend Who Forgives by Dan Dewitt
Peter is forgiven by Jesus, so we can also expect to be forgiven when we come to Him. In this story, children and adults alike are reminded that when we sin, we can go to Jesus and He will forgive us.
9. Benjamin's Box by Melody Carlson
The original complement to Resurrection Eggs, this story tells of a boy who collects items during the first Holy Week. It is a bit longer, so plan to read it in pieces unless your children are 7 and up.
10. Grandfather's Story by Mervin Marquadt
An emotional and worthy book that will become a family favorite. Each part of our Messiah's journey is here, told in a way young and old will remember and request year after year.
Family read alouds and devotioinals for Easter that keep Jesus at the Center.
The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare
Set during our Savior's lifetime, we meet well known, beloved characters mixed in with new ones as the story and setting place us right in the mix as the Jewish people encounter the Messiah.
Amon's Adventure by Arnold Ytreeide
This series is phenomenal taking families back in time in a way that brings the world Jesus lived in alive. This is an adventure story and devotional for families all intertwined in one.
Who Is Jesus? by Kate Hox
This family devotion is intentional and well written. Beginning at the beginning and finishing with the complete works of our Messiah, Kate has written a beautiful and simple daily devotion for the 40 days preceding Easter that every family should consider owning and using.
Lent: Celebrating Christ From the Cradle to the Cross by Mable Pearson Voskamp
This devotional is stunning with classic artwork spanning the ages. Included with each masterpiece is scripture that will remind you of how His work on the cross is powerful and our lives are in daily need of His grace and mercy. FREE pdf as well as a printed option.
Here is a FREE PRINTABLE book list to take with you to the library or your favorite book shop.
I hope you find titles in this list that help your family gather at the foot of the cross and worship at the empty grave. His death, burial, and resurrection contain the keys to a life hidden in Him.