Monday, 23 March 2015

New Children's Easter books

New Children's Easter books

I have written this post to show parents what we are doing to teach our child about Easter. We are practising Catholics so this is important for us. This post however is not about showing off or telling you what to do. It is about sharing how we are teaching so if you are interested in that then read on. This post also might be helpful for primary teachers as these books tell the Easter story but not in super religious ways and could be useful in the last few weeks of this term.

Being practising Catholics we are always trying to teach the children about our faith.
The Easter teachings are what give us the base to what we worship. This man, Jesus, gave his life for all men when the priests and Pharisees decided that there couldn't possibly be a man on the earth who was the son of God. We are told through the gospels that Jesus went through a series of trials and tribulations leading up to his crucifixion. In the Catholic faith we recognise these in Holy Week by attending a few key masses. It starts with Maunday Thursday when we celebrate the Last Supper. This is when Jesus was last with all of his disciples (friends/followers) and when he showed us how his body and blood are represented through bread and wine. Then we have a service on Good Friday at 3pm which is when we mourn his crucifixion. It is a very solemn mass in which we kiss the feet of a statue of the crucified Jesus to show our deepest thanks for what he did for us.
On Saturday evening we begin our Easter celebration with a service of light, which is to celebrate the risen lord. This is the first time that we see the church decorated with flowers after the 40 days of lent. Then on to the traditional Sunday mass which again is the Celebration of Easter day and the finale of the whole lentern period. As Adults, we are able to understand this. We go to church a lot during the ending of the Easter period but as part of us practising our faith, we know it is what we need to do. For Children however it is a lot of being told to 'Shhhhhh' and trying to help them understand the fact that 'Jesus' who we go to see on a Sunday, dies for all of us through crucifixion. What a complex matter to get their heads around. I felt this year, we needed to get some books to help explain to Raph the basic principles of the Easter masses. After a lot of looking I found some lovely children's books that are perfect for us as a family as we can use them and then expand on them with our own teaching. These books would also be great for teachers and parents who just want their child to know the basics as they are not 'religious' books; they just explain the story nicely.

The first few are part of a series of ''My First Bible Stories'' by Katherine Sully and illustrated by Simona Sanfilippo. We had a couple of the biblical stories so when I found ''The Last Supper'', ''Jesus and his Disciples'' and ''The Easter Story'', I wanted to purchase them. Not only do these have the most beautiful illustrations but the text is very simple, and like I said, allows you to elaborate depending on how deeply you want the faith taught.
These three books are so lovely to own. They have beautiful covers with gilded parts making them seem a bit special and the the illustrations are so beautiful that they made me feel quite comforted when reading them.

This book is a lovely general one about the Disciples that depicts who they were and is a good starting point for further development.

As you can see; the illustrations have such a soft feeling about them.

If you were going to purchase any of these books I would go for this one and The Easter Story in the same series. They follow on beautifully from each other and would take you through the four day process of the Easter weekend.

This is a beautifully told beginning to end of Jesus' life and features parts of the common Mass that church goers will recognise.

This is a beautiful book. The pictures and the writing are so simple and explains the story of Easter in a very bedtime manner. It is inoffensive, heartwarming and child based and allows you as a parent to develop your child's needs.

One of my favourite parts is: 
'The shining angel said, "Do not be afraid, Jesus is alive".'
What a lovely, simple, child-focused description.

Another book I bought is a classic Usborne version written by Heather Amery and illustrated by Norman Young. This Usborne book is a more educational based way of teaching the Easter story. It reads more factually and comes across non-denominationally as it is like an information text. This is great if you just want to teach the story of Easter: what it was, who was Jesus with really easy reading and good pictures.

All these books will find a special place in our home. In the last few weeks before Easter we will start to introduce them into our bedtime reading and we will be taking them to the services with us so whilst they are going on we can help encourage Raph to focus on the stories about what is happening. 

I am pleased to have found such easy stories that will help us in our practising faith. Hopefully the complex matters of what happens at Easter in church will be clearer as he grows and develops his own thoughts and understandings.

Here are the links to purchase the books:

Post by Emily

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