Easter Board Book Round Up & Reviews

The Triduum was kind of a fail around here. On Holy Thursday, I was really not feeling well and basically spent the whole day begging my child to stop. Stop screeching, stop climbing, stop running. I had planned to have a “Seder” supper like we did last year, wash his little feet before bed, and then go to Holy Thursday Mass after putting him to bed. Instead we had unexpected guests who wanted to go out to dinner. We didn’t get home until 9 pm (an hour and a half past Will’s bedtime and an hour after Mass started). So instead of washing his feet and going to Mass I threw his jammies on him, tossed him in bed, and collapsed into my bed. Winning. Good Friday was not much better, except I did manage to get to the Passion liturgy after putting Will to bed.

On Easter Sunday, we got to the 9:30 Mass at 9:10 and even 20 minutes early, we had to stand. It’s a hard balancing act to get there early enough to get a seat but not so early your offspring are screeching before the processional even begins. Will kindly held the screeching in until about the Gospel at which point Daddy took him outside (no cry room and the narthex is about the size of my pantry). As you can see, Will was heartbroken to be roaming the rectory grounds outside instead of being quiet and still inside Mass.

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If you follow me on Instagram, you know that poor Will is a neglected and unloved child who received absolutely nothing for Easter:

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Many of Will’s gifts were Easter board books, both religious and secular, so I thought I’d do a quick review of his ever growing library.

My First Pictures of Easter by Maite Roche

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This is one of the children’s books published by the Ignatius/Magnificat collaboration and I just really love everything we have gotten from them. I actually bought this for Will last Easter. Although he is very advanced, I will concede that he didn’t quite grasp it at four months old. This year, it appeared to be a little more developmentally appropriate.

The book has 1-3 page spreads for each of the major events from Holy Week- Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. Each spread has large picture on the left and several small pictures on the right. Will really likes to look at all the small pictures and examine them. He does not like me to read the words and vigorously signs, “All done!” when I attempt to do so.

The Easter Story by Patricia A. Pingry

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This is another religious book that explains what Easter is about and the major events of Holy Week. It feels pretty Protestant sounding to me. There’s nothing in there that’s wrong or problematic and I think it gives a good simple explanation of Easter so I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to my Catholic friends. It’s more a matter of emphasis. For example, the Holy Thursday section simply says Jesus ate the Passover supper with his friends. There’s no discussion of the institution of the Eucharist. Like I said, nothing that’s wrong exactly, but it’s not Catholic-feeling if that makes sense.

The pictures are sweet but nothing special. Will really enjoys baa-ing at the lambs and hee haw-ing at the Palm Sunday donkey.

On to the non-religious books!

I Am a Bunny by Ole Risom

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This has become Will’s pre-nap story. He loves it!

Nicholas the bunny lives in a hollow tree and we get to see what he likes to do during each different season. Will is very helpful and points out the relevant part of the illustration. For example, when Nicholas watches the frogs during the summer, Will points to a frog and helpfully announces, “Ribbit!” so you are sure to know what is going on. He is not a fan of the final illustration showing Nicholas curled up snoozing in his tree, probably because he knows he’s about to be curled up in his crib.

Speaking of the illustrations, this is illustrated by Richard Scarry and as you might expect, the illustrations are delightful. They’re simply and vintage and nostalgic feeling and I think they’d make sweet prints in a child’s nursery.

If I Were a Bunny….

(Despite what Amazon says, I assure you my mom did NOT pay $849 for this one.)

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This is one of those “feely” books with a different texture on each page. Will is obsessed with these types of books so he really likes this one. Favorite texture- scratchy paws. Least favorite- that terrifying devil cotton tail thing hanging off the book.

Peep, Peep, I Love You! by Sandra Magsamen

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Lift-the-flap books are second only to feely books, according to Will, so Peep, Peep was a big hit. Each spread includes a mommy animal and her baby, who is hiding under the flap. This was a double win for us because lift-the-flap + potential to make corresponding animal noises = heaven. Since I know you’re probably wondering, Will’s strongest animal noise is baa-ing. He does love him a good sheep.

Easter Bugs by David A. Carter

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This is a pop-up book and sadly Will does not feel the same way about pop-ups as he does feely and lift-the-flaps. Behind each Easter egg, there are some cute little bugs just waiting to pop up. Unfortunately, Will was just waiting to rip them out of the book and declare, “Bye BYE!” Assuming your children are not terrified of pop-up books, the bugs are super adorable and the last page has a fun surprise.

The Story of the Easter Bunny by Katherine Tegen

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This was is actually not a board book and therefore requires lots of “gentle hands!” reminders. Nonetheless, it is a sweet story about how the Easter Bunny became the Easter Bunny. It has a folktale feel to it and the illustrations are really lovely paintings of an old English village. There is a vague mention of magic, but mentions of magic in fantasy don’t bother me. (And, if magic bothers you, I’m assuming you’re probably not looking into books about the Easter Bunny.)

Here’s hoping your Easter was wonderful and your children were not nearly as deprived as mine was. 😉

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