I love quality children’s literature, and each month plan to post a review of some of my favorites that are appropriate for the season.
This week I wanted to share some great books for the month of March and for Easter, which is rapidly approaching.
Since St. Patrick’s Day is March 17, this is a great month to read books about other Irish saints who may not be as well known as the St. Patrick. Here are a few:
The Blackbird’s Nest: Saint Kevin of Ireland (for ages 5-10): This is a beautifully illustrated book about St. Kevin and is also a great book to read during Lent. The historical note at the end of the book includes an icon of the great saint as we as a hymn to Saint Kevin.
Saint Ciaran: The Tale of A Saint of Ireland (for ages 5-10): This is the story of St. Ciaran of Saighir, who was the first of all Ireland’s recognized saints. Even though I had to purchase this book used, it is worth it. The illustrations are spectacular! In one inspirational scene Ciaran travels to Rome and meets St. Patrick who encourages him to go back to Ireland telling Ciaran he will go there some day. It is a great read!
Brendan the Navigator (for ages 8-11): A terrific book for older elementary children who have an adventurous spirit and love of history! The author, Jean Fritz, has written many historical books for children and is known for her humor and wit which she infuses in her books. My son absolutely loved this book about St. Brendan of Ireland. It is a definite must for your home library!
There are many wonderful books about Easter, but here are a few that I think are especially beautiful to read with your children:
The Easter Story: According To The Gospels of Matthew, Luke and John from the King James Bible (for ages 5-10): In The Easter Story, artist Gennady Spirin has created an exquisitely illustrated book about the Passion and Resurrection of Christ. When I first read this book and marveled at the magnificent artwork, I could not help but become overwhelmed with emotion. The text of the book is from Matthew, Luke, and John’s gospels (the King James Bible). Spirin’s masterfully created paintings truly tell the greatest story ever told, and is an incredible way for children to learn about the Passion and Resurrection of Christ.
The Easter Story
(for ages 5-10): Author and illustrator Brian Wildsmith has illustrated more than thirty books and this one is just as incredible as his other beautiful pieces of art. Similar to Gennady Spirin’s book, the pictures tell the whole story. Brian Wildsmith’s Easter Story is a favorite in our home!
Petook: An Easter Story (for ages 3-8): Petook, written by Caryll Houselander and illustrated by Tomie dePaola, is about a rooster who encounters Christ as a boy and also experiences His crucifixion and resurrection. Tomie dePaola’s incredible illustrations complement this moving story. This book can be difficult to find, and I bought it used when it was not so expensive as it is now on Amazon. However, it is well worth tracking down.
The Bronze Bow (for ages 10-14): The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare is an excellent read for middle schoolers during Lent. It is historical fiction, set in the time of Christ, about a young man who learns that hate will not solve his problems, but that only in loving can we can find true peace. The Bronze Bow is a very powerful book and relevant to us today as Christians.
These are just a few books that you can read with your children during this season.
Have you found other books that are your family’s favorites? Post a comment about them below!