We’re going on an Easter book hunt

12 of the best books to read to your children this Easter to improve literacy as suggested by Brian Caswell.

“If your children are very young, then these Easter books will be ideal choices:”

  1. The simple and engaging Egg by Kevin Henkes
  2. Easter Babies: A Springtime Counting Book by Joy N. Hulme
  3. Max’s Chocolate Chicken by Rosemary Wells, with its frustrating, yet ultimately satisfying, egg hunt
  4. Spot’s First Easter, Eric Hill’s classic lift-the-flap adventure with Spot the Dog

“To most children, the most outstanding elements of the Easter experience are the Easter Bunny, Easter egg hunts and the compulsory consumption of insane amounts of chocolate – and this has been fertile ground for writers and illustrators of picture books. If your child ever dreamed of helping the Easter Bunny, imitating his generosity – or even meeting him – then I recommend these books”:

  1. The delightful The Easter Egg by Jan Brett
  2. Katherine Tegen’s tale The Story of the Easter Bunny, telling how a pet rabbit became the Easter Bunny
  3. The addictive and interactive We’re Going on an Egg Hunt by Laura Hughes
  4. How to Catch the Easter Bunny by Adam Wallace and Andy Elkerton, showing how the Easter Bunny outwits his would-be captors
  5. The Easter Bunny’s Helpers, by Anne Mangan and Tamsin Ainslie, with its native Australian animal characters
  6. Otter Loves Easter by Sam Garton, with its lesson of sharing – and avoiding over-consumption
  7. The very creative Zonka Lays an Egg by Julie Paschkis and the beautiful Rechenka’s Eggs, both draw upon the Russian/Ukrainian traditions of decorated eggs to tell their stories.

“However, if your goal is to help your child understand the historical or religious story behind Easter, there are a number of books that retell the Easter story with children in mind,” says Brian. His recommendations are:

  • That Grand Easter Day by Jill Roman Lord and Alessia Trunfio is a good choice for younger children. The rhymes and rhythms and the cumulative effect of the repetitions draw children into the story in a very accessible way.
  • The Story of Easter by Christopher Doyal is aimed at older children (8 – 12 years old). It is based on biblical accounts and features delicate yet effective watercolour illustrations.
  • Love One Another: The Last Days of Jesus by Lauren Thompson and Elizabeth Uyehara is also an effective and non-confronting treatment of the story for even young children.

Here’s to making reading a traditional part of creating a Happy Easter for all the family.

Brian Caswell, Early Childhood Literacy Expert, internationally-acclaimed author and leader of the team that developed the MindChamps Reading and Writing Programmes, believes that books written specifically for the Easter season can creatively engage your children.