Kiddosphere: Time to Celebrate – Books for Easter and Passover
With Passover starting March 30 and Easter being celebrated on April 1, it’s time to discuss my favorite books for both holidays!
If you need something more in-depth than your basic introductory children’s book about Passover, consider ABC Passover Hunt. Published by Kar-Ben Publishing, one of the leading publishers of Judaica for children, this was written for children that are probably familiar with the basic aspects of the observation.
I normally do not like revisions of fairy tales, but The Little Red Hen and the Passover Matzah is such a charming version that I have to include it. Little Red Hen is preparing for the Seder, but none of her friends are interested in helping. Of course, it’s another story when it’s time to eat! Rather than shooing them away, Little Red Hen remembers that in the spirit of Passover, she is supposed to invite anyone who is hungry to share the meal. (The friends do help with the dishes!) This includes a glossary of Yiddish terms and a recipe for matzah.
I adore The Passover Lamb; drawn from the author’s own experience, it’s a great choice if you don’t need books *about* Passover, but rather Passover-related stories. It’s Miriam’s turn to ask the Four Questions during the Seder (the responsibility of the youngest child once she/he is old enough to memorize them), but the arrival of triplet lambs means that her family must care for them around the clock (and miss her grandparents’ Seder). Luckily, Miriam is smart enough to figure out a way to take care of the newborn lambs and observe Passover!
Celebrating Easter With Colored Eggs, Flowers, and Prayer, part of National Geographic’s excellent Holidays Around the World series, features Easter celebrations in many diverse nations (there’s also one for Passover). If you need a more compact overview of Easter, Gail Gibbons’s Easter book is worth a look.
Here Comes the Easter Cat is one of Deborah Underwood’s hilarious Cat holiday themed picture books. Cat is super jealous of all the attention, fame, and glory received by the Easter Bunny, so he decides to take over. Turns out that being the Easter Bunny is hard work (and doesn’t leave time for multiple naps)! Preschool children and above (even up to third grade, although they might not admit it) will find this hilarious. Younger children will enjoy Seeking a Bunny.
Finally, if you’ve taught toddler/preschool Sunday School classes or teach Bible stories in your own home, you know that the basic elements of the Nativity story are usually graspable at that age. Good Friday and Easter/Resurrection Sunday involve much more complex theology for young children to work through. Ready, Set Find Easter presents the events of Holy Week in a “search and find” format, making this a great selection for Sunday School classes or something to bring along while waiting for services to start (or going to brunch/lunch after).
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Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library