If you're looking for a zany way to teach children the true meaning of Easter, Easter Egg Haunt, written by Mike Thaler and illustrated Jared Lee, may be a great choice.
Full of puns and jokes, this cartoon-illustrated book is ideal for a boyish or boisterous sense of humor, as well as for children who are only being introduced to the principles of Christianity in the early grades.
"It's Easter, and our church is going to have an Easter egg hunt. I hope they're not scrambled!" the text begins. Our young male storyteller wonders if the preacher will dress up like a bunny (or maybe Bunzilla or the Easter Mummy), while in Sunday school class, the girls paint flowers on eggs and the boys mostly paint their eggs like clowns. Our storyteller paints his eggs to look like Frankenstein. When the Sunday school teacher suggests this may not quite be in the spirit of Easter, our storyteller asks "What is the spirit of Easter?" The teacher then explains the true story of this holiday.
"Why is it called Easter and not Wester?" our young storyteller asks. "Maybe it's because the Son rises in the east." Then he wonders what Easter really has to do with eggs. "Well," the teacher replies, "the eggs are eggstra. People added them to the Holiday...sort of like Santa Claus was added to Christmas." The same is true with the Easter bunny, he says.
"'So,' I said, 'Easter is really all about Jesus.'The book also includes three pages of Easter-related riddles and jokes, interspersed throughout the main story of the book.
'Like everything else.' My teacher smiled. 'Like everything else.'"
What I Like: The humor running through this book is the stuff many preschoolers and early graders adore. The illustrations compliment the text so well, one wonders if Mike Thaler and Jared Lee are twins separated at birth. I also appreciate that this book, in quite a succinct manner, tells the biblical story of Jesus' resurrection and explains matter-of-factly that eggs and Easter bunnies are just fun "eggstras" some people add on.
What I Dislike: It's distracting to read the interspersed riddle pages and all the little dialogue bubbles within the main illustrations. I suggest reading the book without these extras first, then going back and adding the sillier stuff later.
Overall Rating: Very good.
Age Appeal: According to the publisher, 4 to 8, but most of the jokes are over the head of the average preschooler. Some slightly older kids will also enjoy the humor in this book.
Publisher Info: Zonderkidz, 2009; ISBN: 0310715911; paperback; $4.99
Buy it Now from ChristianBook.com for $3.99,
OR buy it from Amazon.com for $4.99
Special Info: This book is also available as part of the four book "Tales From the Back Pew" series for $14.99. Visit Mike Thaler's website for Q&A's and author visit information; visit Jared Lee's website for samples of his illustrations and free activities and teaching ideas.