105 Ways to Give a Book

Booklights and Easter Books

I’m still not feeling that great as I recover from a cold, but the show must go on. Well, at least at Booklights, where I am sharing Easter books in a tradition generally associated with weddings. Namely, something old, something new, something borrowed, and something out-of-the-blue. Head over and give your favorite Easter books in the comments. Oh, and I share a bonus passage that should make the Passover observers among us smile.

I had a hard time finding good Easter books, seeing that the majority of them seem to be the holiday experiences of Dora, SpongeBob, Clifford, Curious George, Fancy Nancy, Elmo, Mickey Mouse, and Strawberry Shortcake. Blecch. As I browsed Amazon, I also couldn’t find a religious story that stood out as the go-to book on Easter.

Now at Christmas, I find the standard book/TV character holiday contingent along with a ton of good semi-secular stories that focus on Santa, trees, or gift-giving. But there are also many titles that focus on the birth of Christ, and do so in a way that make them good picture books, as well as religious books. I’m not seeing that with Easter books, and I’ve decided that from a step-back, story-telling, kidlit-reader perspective, Christmas has upper hand. I mean, there’s a baby, animals, and presents &3151; which sounds a lot easier to make into a children’s story than crucifixion and resurrection.

Come to think of it, there’s the same problem for Passover books, with the whole killing-of-the-first-born-child thing going on. Tough holidays to fictionalize. I guess. What do you think?


Anonymous said...

My husband has a picture book published through a Christian publishing house, and they recently let him know that they won't be publishing many children's books other than Christmas. I think it's solely a matter of what sells. The only Easter book for children I'm aware of from that house is not one I'd recommend. The text is not picture book quality at all -- way too many words, and way too academic. But it's written by a well-known and well-respected author and speaker, so grandparents buy his children's books as gifts.

Anonymous said...

Hello everyone,

I always have great fun putting myself in Nancy's fancy shoes when I receive each of Jane O'Connor's manuscripts for a Fancy Nancy book. Our latest collaboration is no different.

Fancy Nancy: Poet Extraordinaire celebrates Poetry Month. Nancy's love of fancy, beautiful language makes her just the right guide for young children to explore and have fun with poetry.

When I first got the story, I started to imagine what kind of dress-up Nancy would pull together to wear for writing poetry -- something Shakespearean perhaps, or reaching back even further to Homer? Then came the footwear! Ever crafty, Nancy could easily assemble her version of ancient footwear with a pair of flip flops and some ribbon. Voila! The cover illustration started to take shape in my mind...

I will be signing Fancy Nancy: Poet Extraordinaire on Sunday, April 25 at 3:15pm at the LA Times Festival of Books, held at UCLA. Come by the Target Stage at 2:55 p.m. for a reading of our newest book and afterwards, I love to meet other Moms, sign books and greet your kids. Hope to see you there!

With best wishes,
Robin Preiss Glasser

Three Turtles and Their Pet Librarian said...

This is one of the worst holidays for story times. There are fun books like "Rechenka's Eggs" or "Easter Egg Farm" to read with one or two kids, but they don't translate that well to a largish group of 2 and 3-year-olds. Religious picture books tend to be SO badly written and preachy! (I do like "The Dumb Bunnies' Easter", but parents don't always appreciate the humor). Halloween is easy with all the monster books out, Valentine's Day is good, and Thanksgiving has all the rescue-the-turkey books. St. Patrick's Day, though, is the worst. Another strong hint going out to those who can and have time to write!

Jennifer Schultz said...

There is a major need for quality Christian children's picture books. I teach the toddler Sunday School class at my church (Methodist), and what's out there in terms of picture books for Christian holidays or Biblical stories is not that great. Even in the children's sections of Christian bookstores, you'll find a million Noah's Arks, Baby Jesus in the manger, and Jonahs, but hardly any Easter stories. Not to mention the bazillion "Jesus Loves Me" board books. And VeggieTales.

I've ordered some simple board books of Bible stories; they're OK, but not awesome. This is an untapped market.