Lent and Easter Books Your Family Will Love

Thursday, February 8, 2018

I love to read, and our kids love to read as well, so obviously one of our favorite ways to prepare for Easter is by reading beautiful books! 



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For family catechesis:

St. Patrick's Summer - I read this aloud when our older two were 5 and 6, and it was such an amazing explanation of a lot of theology that I had never really understood. They were fascinated and honestly tickled by the saints who came to visit the two main characters to explain various things. Marigold Hunt is a fabulous author, and this book as an absolute gem! Chapters are on the long side, but I think you could get through the whole thing during Lent.

My Path to Heaven - a "retreat-in-a-book" illustrated by Carryl Houselander, this is a lovely preparation for a child's First Holy Communion, and a wonderful catechism refresher for the whole family.

Above All (with accompanying children's resources) - I'll be reading this for myself and then also printing the Lectio pages for the kids to use. It kept me on track for Advent to work through that journal with the kids, so I think that going through the Scripture every morning with them is going to keep me from getting behind!

Bringing Lent Home series - We worked through the St. Therese book last year at the dinner table, and I'm ordering the John Paul II book for us this year. Short readings, and ideas for prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Very doable, and affordable too!

For study throughout Lent:

The Parables of Jesus - Out of print but available used, dePaola's familiar illustrations will bring comfort to the child who has grown to love them, and the stories are ones that every child should know.

The Miracles of Jesus - Another dePaola book, we like to go through Jesus's public ministry before we get to Holy Week.

Exodus - We don't have this one yet but I found it when I was making our list and think we need it! I love watching The Prince of Egypt with the kids and think this would be great preparation for discussing the Passover and the prefiguring of Christ that's found in the Old Testament.

Stations of the Cross books:

I Walk With Jesus - Super-short, perfect for kids who are just learning how to pray the Stations of the Cross. I've got a couple of kids who beg for this one again and again - just goes to show you how sometimes they really just need something simple!

Stations of the Cross for Children - The reflections in this one are on the long side, so the recommendation of 6-12 is pretty accurate (4-5yos with long attention spans could handle it). I like that the reflections are relevant to the kids, and the illustrations are nice.

Leading up to Holy Week:

At Jerusalem's Gate - Gorgeous woodcut illustrations and incredibly moving poems about the events surrounding the crucifixion.

The Donkey that No One Could Ride - This one is perfect to read right before Palm Sunday Mass. The kids adore the illustrations, and it's a cute story about how Christ's love can turn weakness into strength.

The Tale of Three Trees - This works for Advent too, but I think I like it better for Lent.

Holy Week:

Easter by Fiona French

The Week that Led to Easter

The Easter Story - Brian Wildsmith is such a lovely illustrator, and this is a beautiful book to have available for browsing.

Easter and beyond (this is when I bring out the secular books as well):

On Easter Day in the Morning - A sweetly-told story about Mary Magdalene's excitement on Easter morning. The language always makes the kids smile, and it's a fun, exciting story to read together before we head to Easter Mass.

Rechenka's Eggs - The illustrations in this one are just beautiful! It's a nice little story about an old woman and an unlikely friendship with an injured goose.

The Egg Tree - Again, I just can't resist the illustrations. A sweet book about the origins of Egg Trees in Pennsylvania Dutch country.

The Easter Egg - Jan Brett, y'all. She's the best. Obviously the illustrations are fabulous, but the story of Hoppy the bunny giving up on his goal in order to protect another creature is a lovely little tale of sacrifice that's eventually rewarded.

The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes - You HAVE to read this one at least once in your life, if only to realize just how amazing this mom is, who has 21 little bunny children who all keep her house running like a well-oiled machine so that she can go off and be the Easter Bunny!

What do you think needs to be added to this list? Do you have any favorites I missed?

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