In the Book Basket for Lent

Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him; and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? (Isaiah 58:6-7)


We're gathering books, settling in,

giving thanks for yet another storm, perfectly timed to still us

before Lent begins. 

The Little Rose of Sharon by Nan Gurley

This is the story of a rose whose outward appearance is so beautiful that it pleases the Creator Himself. The little rose learns that her life isn't all about what she holds here on earth and she sacrifices her lovely rose petals (her most prized possesion) to save a baby dove.

Petook by Caryll Houselander This story begins with Petook the Rooster and his wife Martha hatching 12 fluffy new chicks. They live a happy life in the garden until they a frightened when a young boy walks toward Petook and his family. No need to worry; it is a kind boy who years later hangs on a cross Petook can see in the distance.This is a classic Houselander story of Easter and new life. 

The Jesus Garden: An Easter Legend

 The passion of Christ can be a very frightening subject for young children. The grim reality of death is a difficult one for tender hearts.  This story takes on the task and follows Christ's passion from the perspective of the plants and flowers in the garden. Parent and child can follow the Passion from the agony in the garden all the way to the resurrection in a much more soothing way. 


The Easter Swallows

Also in the garden a pair of swallows are building a nest. Lovely text and illustrations. (Worth hunting down.)


Twice Yours by Nan Gurley

 This absolutely, breathtakingly beautiful, both in story and pictures. A little boy invests his whole heart in buliding a small sailboat. He loses it and someone else finds it and then he sacrifices to regain it.    


The Story of the Cross by Mary Joslin

  This lovely volume can be read again and again throughout Lent to bring the Stations of the Cross alive to children in an appropriate and reverent manner. I really love this one.


The Easter Story

 I'm so sad this one is unavailable. 


Benjamin's Box: The Story of the Resurrection Eggs by Melody Carlson

 Benjamin is a little boy who travels along with jesus and discovers who he really is. Fun story and can be even more fun when used with Resurrection Eggs.

Amon's Adventure

Just perfect for my current 13-year-old


Tale of the Three Trees by Angela Hunt

  This story follows three trees who dream of being big, marvelous things when they grow old enough. Their dreams appear to be crushed, but then they recognize that they were made for bigger things than they could imagine.


The Proud Tree by Luane Roche

 This storyline is similar to the one of the three trees. Rex thinks he's a tree worthy for a king. But is humbled when he gets cut down to become a cross for a crucifixion and learns who Jesus, the real king, is.

A Tale for Easter

Tasha Tudor is always so wonderful. *Not overtly religious.

The Thornbush

 An ugly thornbush growing in Jerusalem becomes a crown for the King of Kings.


The Very First Easter by Paul Maier  this is a lengthy book with lots of biblical quotes and beautiful illustrations. Lots of details in this one. 


The Easter Story by Brian Wildsmith    This story of Easter is told through the eyes of the little donkey who carried Jesus through the streets on Palm Sunday. Beautifully illustrated and sure to please all ages.


Through the Eyes of John This is Mary Beth's favorite.


The Story of Easter by Mary Joslin this story follows the whole timeline of Jesus from the Annunciation to the Resurrection and helps your child to understand Jesus' whole life.


Little Colt's Palm Sunday

  Palm Sunday is recounted through the eyes of the colt who carried the King of Kings--Jesus himself--through the streets of Jerusalem.  


Legend of the Easter Egg by Lori Walburg  Learn what Easter is really about as you follow the beloved characters you may already know from The Legend of the Candy Cane from the same author. When Thomas' sister, Lucy, falls sick, he goes to stay at the Sonneman's candy store and there he learns the story of Easter. 


Legend of the Sand Dollar

 When Kerry's family takes a trip to the beach she learns all about the story of Easter through a small beach treasure, the sand dollar.   

Psalms for Young Children I pray Night Prayer with my little ones, every night, using the Divine Office app. This sweet book brings the psalms to children in a lovely way. I think we'll use it during Lent to stop at those scared pause points and pray the psalms just a little together all day long.

When I listen to you God,

When I do what you ask me to,

I am like a tree

Planted by a river,

a tree full of fruit

that is always green.


The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes by DuBose Heyward

 this story is about a momma bunny who wants to be one of the official Easter Bunnies but first must prove herself to the wise Grandfather bunny. Mike's sister gifted this to us years ago and it is a perennial favorite.

Just The Way You Are

: We've spent a lot of time in our family room recently discussing the fact that we don't "do" Lent for God. We "do" what we do to draw closer to Jesus, to learn to lean on Him more heavily. We don't offer alms and sacrifice to earn God's love. Instead, we look to Lent as period of growing more Christlike. Those sacrifices are made so that we can be the hands and feet of God here on Earth. This sweet book is one of unconditional love, not earned affection. And I have such a fondness for Max Lucado's children's books!


The Easter Egg

. Another that isn't religious, but sure is a sweet read. I do love Jan Brett.


Rechenka's Eggs by Patricia Polacco

 My children love to listen along in this delightful tale as Babushka she prepares her eggs for the Easter Festival. During this story, Babushka takes in an injured goose who teaches her that miracles can happen. 


The Egg Tree by Katherine Milhous Katy and Carl go on an egghunt while visiting their Grandmother's house and Katy has no luck finding any eggs. She ends up searching the attic where she finds very special eggs her Grandmother  painted when she was a little girl. 


Easter Eggs for Anya Decorating beautiful Easter eggs was something Anya loved to do and was very sepcial to her family. But with Papa away at war, Anya's family is very poor and will not be able to purchase eggs to decorate this year! When Anya stumbles upon a nest of goose eggs she thinks she will be able to decorate eggs after all, but God always has a bigger and better plan.  

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At Jerusalem's Gate: The Poems of Easter: Absolutely gorgeous poetry that puts us in Jerusalem with Jesus on those last days. 

Until he turns and drinks me in.

I gasp, a-tremble,

grasp a palm frond

and wave in a frenzy of praise and adoration,

singing Hosanna!

Hosanna! Hosanna!

as if my very life depends upon it.

The poems take the older child through Holy Week with compelling imagery. This one is new to us this year and I'm excited about it. I have some plans for copywork, illustrating, illuminating, jouranling, and trying our hands at some poetry writing of our own. 

My Path to Heaven

 this "retreat-in-a-book" is geared toward kids 9-12. As they learn the truths of their faith and are called to live lives of holiness with these newfound truths. 


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Passover: Celebrating Now, Remembering Then For years, our children celebrated a Christian Seder dinner. Then, a few years ago, some women persuaded me that that was "wrong." We stopped doing it (that was my season of undue influence of other people). Here's the thing: it was memorable. My kids can tell you about the plagues of Egypt because we chanted them at a Seder. They wink and ask if we're expeciting Elijah whenever there's an empty place at the table. They learned so much, absorbed it down to their bones. We had a family meeting just the other day. Passover is back on the table. This book will truly bring the experience into sharp focus. It is written from a Jewish perspective. For online resources for cooking and celebrating a Christian Passover, click here. This is a good overview and we've used this script with a crowd of children, so it's definitely field-tested/

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Lenten Devotionals for teens and grownups and families:

Show Me the Way This one is reflections from Henri Nouwen

Lent and Easter Wisdom from Fulton Sheen I like this whole series of both Advent and Lent meditations. Beautifully curated wisdom from spiritual guides like Pope John Paul II, St. Francis and St. Clare, St. Benedict, St. Ignatius,

Bringing Lent Home With Mother Teresa Beautiful suggestions here in the generous spirit of Mother Teresa

Bringing Lent Home with St. Therese This is a very affordable devotional with prayer and reflections and activities for the whole family from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. There is a great deal of spiritual depth here, all in the gentle, humble little way of St. Therese.