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Best Easter Picture Books

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There are many Easter books for children of all ages available at libraries and bookstores. I went looking for children's picture books about Holy Week, Easter customs, and the Easter Bunny suitable for a range of ages, from very young children to 10 year olds. In terms of both text and illustrations, I consider the following children's Easter picture books among the best. Several of these children's Easter books have become classics.

1. The Easter Egg

The Easter Egg by Jan Brett
The Penguin Group

Jan Brett is the author and illustrator of The Easter Egg.  Brett is known for her appealing animals and ilustrations on double-page spreads that have borders with additional artwork that helps tell the story.  In this case, the story revolves around Hoppi, a little bunny who wants to create the best decorated Easter Egg and win the chance to accompany the Easter Rabbit as he hides Easter eggs on Easter morning.  An unexpected turn of events changes Hoppi's perspective and he ends up the winner for a surprising reason. (The Penguin Group, 2010. ISBN: 9780399252389) Compare prices. Read my review of The Easter Egg.

2. Celebrate Easter with Colored Eggs, Flowers and Prayer

Cover art for Celebrate Easter nonfiction children's book
National Geographic

Celebrate Easter with Colored Eggs, Flowers and Prayer is a nonfiction children's book, in picture book format, that emphasizes the Christian celebration of Easter and also covers such traditional Easter activities as decorating eggs, Easter egg hunts and enjoying Easter candy. Celebrate Easter is part of the Holidays Around the World Series, published by National Geographic for children in grades 1-4. (National Geographic, 2007. ISBN: 9781426300202) Compare prices. Read my review of Celebrate Easter.

3. The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes

The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

This classic by Du Bose Heyward is a heartwarming story of virtue rewarded. The book was originally published in 1939. This charming story tells how a rabbit was chosen to be an Easter Bunny despite (in fact, because of) being the mother of 21 bunnies. Teaching her bunnies to take care of themselves makes Cottontail wise, kind, and swift, all important traits for an Easter Bunny. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014 for the 75th anniversary edition. ISBN: 9780544251977) Compare prices. Read the review of The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes.

4. The Story of Easter

Cover Art - The Story of Easter by Christopher Doyle - Children's Easter Picture Book
Concordia Publishing House

Christopher Doyle’s retelling of the Easter story is based on the biblical accounts in Matthew 21-26, Luke 22-23, John 13, 17-21, and Acts 2. Doyle effectively captures the drama and significance of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection in his narrative. I particularly like John Hayson’s delicate, yet dramatic, watercolor illustrations. I’d recommend this book for 8-12 year olds. It covers Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem through Pentecost. (Concordia Publishing House, 2008. ISBN: 9780758608376) Compare prices.

5. Rechenka's Eggs

The picture book Rechenka's Eggs was written and illustrated by Patricia Polacco. Kindly old Babushka takes in an injured goose. She names the goose Rechenka and nurses it back to health. Unfortunately, Rechenka ruins all of the beautiful Easter eggs Babushka has so painstakingly painted. Miraculously, Rechenka replaces all the beautiful eggs by laying one intricately colored egg every day for 13 days, so that Babushka has enough to take to the Easter Festival. Rechenka also leaves a wonderful surprise for Babushka. (Penguin Putnam, 1996. ISBN: 9780698113855) Compare prices.

6. The Story of the Easter Bunny

This clever tale by Katherine Tegen tells the story of how a rabbit became the Easter Bunny. Whimsical watercolors by English artist Sally Anne Lambert add detail and warmth to the picture book. It all starts with “a round old couple and their little rabbit.” Every Easter the couple decorates Easter eggs and delivers them around the town. As they grow older, their rabbit does more and more of the work, until he becomes the Easter Bunny. (HarperCollins, 2005. ISBN: 9780060587819) Compare prices.

7. Love One Another: The Last Days of Jesus

Lauren Thompson’s retelling relies on the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The simple, straightforward text is enhanced by the sensitive artwork of Elizabeth Uyehara, oil painting on canvas done in a primitive style. She effectively illustrates the story without using images that would frighten small children. This is a good book for all ages. (Scholastic, 2000. ISBN: 9780439283007) Check your public library for this book.

8. The Golden Egg Book

This classic Golden Book was written by Margaret Wise Brown and originally published in 1947. The overall design of the book and Leonard Weisgard's lush and whimsical watercolors add greatly to the story of a lonely bunny, an unhatched egg, and a new friend. This is a charming story for very young children. (Random House Children's Books, 2000. ISBN: 9780375827174) Compare prices.

9. Queen of Easter

Ann Estelle is at it again. The little girl wants a fancy Easter hat so she can be "Queen of Easter" in the neighborhood Easter parade. She is very disappointed when her mother buys her a plain hat. When Ann Estelle leaves her new hat on the porch, a robin buids a nest in it and lays eggs. What's Ann Estelle to do? There's lots of fun in this picture book written and illustrated by Mary Engelbreit. Her colorful borders and crisp illustrations are a joy. At the back of the book is a nice surprise: an Ann Estelle paperdoll, complete with an Easter dress and hat. (HarperCollins, 2006. ISBN: 9780060081867) Compare prices.

10. Easter Babies: A Springtime Counting Book

With its soft focus illustrations of appealing young farm animals, Easter Babies: A Springtime Counting Book is a celebration of the new life that comes with spring rather than a book that focuses strongly on either sacred or secular aspects of Easter. There's just a brief reference to church bells and an Easter egg hunt scene. This concept book goes from 1 to 12 in its brief descriptions. Easter Babies is a nice gentle book to share at bedtime. It was written by Joy N. Hulme and illustrated by Dan Andreasen. I recommend it for ages 3-6. (Sterling, 2010. ISBN: 9781402763526) Compare prices.

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