Clay and I were out of town the Tuesday before Easter in Utah seeing the newlyweds, Alayna and Choi, who are living their best van life. We saw some absolutely awe-inspiring, magical places.
And we got to laugh around the table like we haven’t done since they left in January.
I have to say it was worth leaving my sweet little storytime kids in their zoom boxes to take our trip, but I sure did miss them and I’m excited to read to them again this Tuesday, and I’m excited to start sharing our read aloud books here on the blog and on the new storytime page in the hopes that it will help other parents and storytellers as they look for books to read their own groups of kids.
Our theme this week is books for spring! Our Texas snow woes are a thing of the past and bluebonnets are cropping up on the side of the road. I snuck a few Easter books into my storytime even though it’s after the holiday, combining them with a few books about spring because you can never have too much of good things like Easter and spring, right? Here’s our picks for this week:
This is a great book because it’s a familiar tune (hippity, hoppity, Easter’s on it’s waaaaay) so you can sing it, but you keep interrupting yourself. Instead of “Easter’s on its way” it’s Hey! or Whoa! or No way! as the frog keeps meeting up with various animals that are definitely not the Easter bunny, who, by the way, is not pleased when he sees others taking over his job. Don’t worry, (SPOILER ALERT) he softens up when someone gives him an egg.
This book is based on a folktale, and tells the story of three trees with high aspirations. One wants to hold treasure, one wants to be a strong ship that carries kings, and one wants to be the tallest tree in the world so that when people look at it, they’ll raise their eyes to heaven and think of God. Years pass, the trees grow, eventually they’re chopped down and their hopes are dashed, BUT, all is not lost. There is beautiful redemption, this book can be used for Christmas or Easter. One becomes a manger, one the ship where Jesus calms the storm, and the last, the cross.
We had this book when the kids were young, and it stands the test of time. Max is obsessed with the chocolate chicken but his bossy big sister, Ruby, tells him he has to do the egg hunt first and whoever finds the most eggs gets the chocolate chicken. Guess who finds the most eggs, and guess who grabs the chicken, hides in a tree stump and eats it up anyway? All is well in the end, there’s a spare chocolate goose wrapped in a bow that matches Ruby’s dress and mischievous Max with chocolate on his face only eats the tail and leaves the rest for his big sis. Spare text and cute pics with lots to point at make this a great book for young and old.
In this story, a girl makes her most magnificent thing. For most of the book she’s really frustrated. It’s about what you do when things don’t look the way you want, about taking breaks and getting perspective. It’s about the creative process, and I love it because it’s exactly how my creative process looks! This may seem a strange pick for Easter or spring, but it’s actually a great conversation starter for asking kids, “what is the most magnificent thing” you can think of? Look at the flowers, the newborn deer, the budding trees. Talk about the Easter story. Is there anything more magnificent than the resurrection? This book is a great spring board, and just a fun read. It could also go in a storytime about feelings or anger or creativity. I may have to reuse it. 🙂
This author, and this illustrator, I swoon. I just love the style and the vibe. I could live between the cover of this book for a long while, soaking up the illustration and the world, but that’s not what storytime is all about. This book takes you from brown to green, from seed to grass and sprouts. Read this one through and notice all the wonderful details before you share it so you can point out to your little ones the turtle with his magnifying glass and the bear with the flowerpot on his head and all the other fun things. It is a noticing kind of book, great for a kid on each side in a nice cozy chair and lots of repeat reads, but I couldn’t resist sharing it with my zoom kids.
I’ve had several parents ask me about recommendations for books telling the biblical story of Easter for really young children, like 2’s and 3’s. One that is excellent but I didn’t have on hand to read so it isn’t included in the list above is from the Read Aloud Bible Stories Series, Vol. 2 by Ella K. Lindvall, illustrated by Ken Renczenki which has several Bibles stories compiled in it. The Easter story is A Sad Day and a Happy Day. Another Christian Easter book for older kids (because it has more text) that I love but didn’t include above because our church already read it to our storytime group of kids is The Garden, the Curtain and the Cross by Carl Lafterton, illustrated by Catalina Echeverri.
If you’ve got more suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments!