AUTHOR: Various (
AUDIENCE: Older children (7+) and adults.
I ordered this book on a recommendation from one of my favorite magazines, First Things. This little compilation of stories is a perfect thing to bring to the family for the Lent season. Keep in mind, that these stories are not simply children’s stories, which is a good thing. Today’s children’s stories are more sensation than substance. The stories included in Easter Stories are charming, exciting, and deeply meaningful stories that young and old can enjoy.
I take C.S. Lewis’ admonishment very seriously: “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.”
With that being said, this book is probably enjoyed best by children older than 7. Stories like The Selfish Giant are shorter and will move a 7 year old to consider the consequences of the selfishness/graciousness of a mythical creature. The Robin’s Redbreast may be a familiar concept, but the story puts it into a dramatic tale for the young reader and puts them in the time and place of Christ’s crucifixion.
While other stories, like Mary’s Child, with its plot twisted and dramatic themes of life and death, obedience and repentance, might be best for children 10 years and older.
And stories like The Two Old Men are lengthier, more complex stories that require the more mature reader to follow the internal journey of two men on an external pilgrimage to Jerusalem and how God works through people in different circumstances. It took us a couple of nights to finish that one, and even then, only my 11 year old daughter could stay awake for the whole thing.
If you are part of a family that loves stories, I suggest this book as a complement to any preparation for Easter or even after Easter. And if your family does not currently share times of storytelling, I suggest this book as a good way to start. Each story carries the themes of Easter, so it would be familiar to everyone. And stories are important ways in which a family can pass on the values and identity of their Christian heritage. Stories are able to pass down a culture and a distinct way of life better than mere propositions.