13 Easter Books We Love

Friday, March 17, 2017

Growing up, Easter was always my favorite holiday. Probably because I spent it with my big family (cousins, uncles, aunts, grandparents) in Southern Utah. We celebrated with a weekend of hiking and dutch oven cooking and topped it all off with an outdoor Easter egg hunt.

Every spring those memories resurface and I feel immense joy for the traditions of my formative years. For me, Easter signals a season of renewal and feels like the start of a new year, more than any frozen January day. As with other holidays, we celebrate with books. So if you are looking for a few books to tuck into little Easter baskets these are some of our favorites.
  1. The Bunny Who Found Easter by Charlotte Zolotow - A lonely little fellow is in search of Easter. He trudges through the seasons and at last finds a companion. Together, along with their abundant offspring, they herald the arrival of the previously elusive holiday. A sweet story about how family makes life more enjoyable. 
  2. Bunny Bus by Ammi-Joan Paquette -  Full disclosure: this book ranks lowest of this list. However, the bright endpapers (vibrant eggs) and energetic illustrations are a lot of fun. Maybe don't rush out to buy this, but rather track it down at your local library. 
  3. Here Comes the Easter Cat by Deborah Underwood - You knew this was going to be on the list. Our affable narrator is back and full of inquisitive questions for our favorite cat. This time in an effort to convince Cat that the Easter Bunny has a really tough job and maybe Cat should help out. However, it seems a no-nap gig isn't what Cat really wants after all. 
  4. A Tale for Easter by Tasha Tudor - The sweetest cherubic children grace Tasha Tudor books and this one is no exception. Plus I like that the story starts off with a cheeky acknowledgement that we never really know when Easter rolls around, but hot cross buns the Friday before and a new dress generally signal its imminent arrival. 
  5. God Gave us Easter by Lisa Tawn Bergren - We have a couple of the other God Gave us books and while this one is on the longish side it's a nice way to explain some of the religious aspects of Easter to younger children.
  6. Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco - Of all the books on this list this one is my absolute favorite! When a group of young children decide to buy an Easter hat for their gramma, the one she's had her eye on, they must overcome having their good intentions misunderstood. Basically anything by Patricia Polacco and the stories she weaves from her own childhood, ranks high on my most beloved list.  
  7. The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes by DuBose Heyward - Generations of children have loved this book, although I only read it for the first time a couple years ago. Essentially the gruff male bunnies all laugh when a lady bunny says she will grow up to be the Easter Bunny. Not only does she grow up to have a large family, she prevails and becomes the kindest Easter Bunny there ever was. Apart from any lesson or moral the book offers, it's a highly imaginative story that children both young and old can appreciate. Be aware that it is on the longish side for a picture book. 
  8. The Easter Bunny that Overslept by Priscilla & Otto Friedrich - This might be a little hard to locate, but it's worth the hunt. As the title suggests, the Easter Bunny is alarmed when he wakes up to discover that it's Mother's Day, not Easter. Undeterred, he tries to give away his eggs at the 4th of July Parade and then appears again at Halloween. With humor and endearing images this is also a personal favorite. 
  9. The Story of the Easter Bunny by Katherine Tegen - An old couple works together to dye eggs, make baskets, and create chocolate bunnies. All while their pet rabbit watches on. Soon the couple becomes too old to spread Easter happiness to the neighborhood children and the young bunny takes over the holiday duties. A fresh take on how the Easter Bunny came to be. 
  10. We're Going on an Egg Hunt by Laura Hughes - This lift-the-flap book is based on the old American folk tune and is beloved by the 2-4 year-old crowd. Count the eggs as you go and watch out for that sneaky wolf at the end. This is also a fun book to read before a child's first egg hunt. 
  11. Who Hid the Easter Eggs by Pirkko Vainio - After grandma has hidden the eggs for the annual Easter hunt an inquisitive bird is charmed by the colorful eggs and decides to relocate them to a new hiding spot. Luckily Harry, the squirrel, is able to set things right just in time. 
  12. The Easter Egg Artists by Adrienne Adams - Orson and his family are the artists tasked with decorating the beloved holiday eggs. However, sometimes it's difficult to contribute when everyone thinks you are too young or haven't developed your talent yet. Have you encountered Adrienne Adams books? They have a distinct 1970s style that still feels relevant today.
  13. Easter Eggs for Anya by Virginia Kroll - This religious account introduces children to the history of coloring eggs through the nineteenth-century Ukrainian tradition. With bright pastels and a sensitive protagonist, this book speaks of the new beginnings a risen Christ offers.


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