Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Easter at Our House

Easter at Our House tackles a sometimes polarized subject within Christian culture: Easter traditions. Written and illustrated by P.K. Hallinan, this book uses rhyme to follow a brother and sister on Easter day. Some Christians don't celebrate Easter at all choosing instead to celebrate 'Resurrection Sunday' with simple sunrise services and only completely religious activities. Others embrace secular traditions with chocolates, painted eggs and bunny hunts. This book does a wonderful job finding middle ground between the extremes. It starts with waking early to witness God's glory in the sunrise, then running downstairs to hunt for eggs. The parents give beautiful Easter baskets filled with candies and more. The kids eat a light breakfast then get dressed up in new clothes. This morning church meets in the park with friends and flowers. There is singing with the worship band and a sermon from the pastor. His shout of "Christ is risen!" is greeted with cheering and tears. Everyone heads down to the creek where some are baptized. After the service, our family goes to a resturant for a feast of pancakes, bason, salad steak and fries. The day ends with Bible reading and prayer. Bright and colorful, the illustrations follow the style of all the author's books. They are cute and happy cartoons.

What I Like: The author does a good job finding balance. Everyone can find something they appreciate in the way this family celebrates this all-important holiday. It is an uplifting story sure to excite children still learning about Easter. I also like the size. Most of the author's books are done in standard-size board books. This one is a hardback and much larger in size. It allows for a greater focus on the inviting illustrations.

What I Dislike: Very little explanation is provided about the reason and meaning for Easter! It's all about traditions and what the family does, but not about why. In 32 pages only one paragraph offers a reason: "It's all about Easter, and how Jesus gave His life for us all, so the world could be saved." First, Easter is not about Jesus' death; it's about His resurrection. Second, as a holiday celebrating the basis of our salvation and faith, much more explanation is needed (especially considering the target ages provided by the publisher). Why did He have to die? What is the world being saved from? While this book is cute and fun, it is leaves a huge theological hole.

Overall Rating: Good

Age Appeal: 4-8, though my kids like it at 19-months and 3-years old

Publisher Info: Ideals Childrens Books, 2007; ISBN: 0824955528; Hardback; $8.99

Buy it Now at Amazon for $8.99

Additional Info: While the main family featured in this book is caucasian, several ethinicities are shown in the church congregation including Asian, African American and Latino.

View our reviews on other books by this author.

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