ONE WEEK SALE ON LENT & EASTER BOOKS FOR KIDS.
And a few other books, too.
ORDER BY PALM SUNDAY at 30% OFF.
While supplies last.
After April 10, 2022, these items return to the customary 20% OFF we often feature at BookNotes.
STAY TUNED: In a day or two we will have a list of adult books, some on sale, some specifically for reading during the end of Holy Week.
As always, please use the order link at the end of the column which takes you to our Heart & Minds secure order form page. Once there, just tell us what you want and how you want it shipped. You can safely enter credit card info or we can send a bill for you to pay later. We will reply promptly and send your order out well wrapped from our central Pennsylvania shop.
A Jesus Easter: Explore God’s Amazing Rescue Plan Barbara Reaoch (The Good Book Company) $12.99 ONE WEEK ONLY – SPECIAL 30% OFF SALE PRICE = $9.09
Barbara Reaoch served with Bible Study Fellowship as the Director of their Children’s Division so she really knows what she’s doing. This is a wonderfully created devotional by an excellent, gospel-centered, fun teacher, complete with space for family journalling. This Bible study starts in the Old Testament, points us to the Christ, offers key lessons on Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection. Arranged with adaptable questions in a format of explore, explain, engage enter in (which is a short prayer), a section of “Jesus Is___” exercises, and space for reflection and considering “answers.” A number of our customers loved her Advent one, A Jesus Christmas.
Bare Tree and Little Wind: A Story for Holy Week Matali Perkins illustrated by Khoa Le (Waterbrook) $15.99 ONE WEEK ONLY – SPECIAL 30% OFF SALE PRICE = $11.19
This is my favorite new children’s Easter book of the year and it is fanciful and allusive, artful, the illustration stunning in a creative way and the telling a bit like a mysterious fairy tale. It isn’t a straightforward gospel narration but tells about Jesus and his death through the eyes of palm trees. We are invited to “join the wind and the trees who are celebrating One who brings life.” Bare Tree and Little Wind is lyrical and imaginative, with a conversation between the palm trees who tell Little Wind that the Real King is coming (but they meet Quiet Man instead of the loud and bossy king they were expecting.) When things go wrong, they wonder if they will ever clap again…
There is a scary bit when Roman soldiers try to burn down the tree garden, and they are scorched — Jerusalem is darkened and the writer and artist hint at that gloom. (But after the resurrection they start to sprout green again and their seeds spread — an obvious analogy for adults to appreciate but it may take some conversation with children to figure out.) Perkins is an award winning mainstream YA author and has a book on the Lutheran Broadleaf Books publishing house we have raved about called Steeped in Stories: Timeless Children’s Novels to Refresh Our Tired Souls.) This is a rare and stimulating book by a wonderful due of writer and illustrator. Highly recommended.
The Garden, The Curtain, and the Cross Carl Laferton (The Good Book Company) $14.99 ONE WEEK ONLY – SPECIAL 30% OFF SALE PRICE = $10.49
There are nearly a dozen of these very playful, interesting, and theologically robust stories in the “Tales That Tell the Truth” line, most connecting a New Testament story with a New Testament one. (The artist for almost all of them is Catalina Echeverri and she is energetic and whimsical, vivid, but the drawings are often small. What fun!) In this case the “garden” in the story is the Garden of Eden and it describes the goodness of creation, the fall and sorrow that came about, and the long hope for some answer to their mess. Jesus shows up, the story of the cross is well told (with a bit of a side story of the curtain in the temple tearing) and the happy news that we can be one with God again. It is solid and Biblically astute, yet really engaging. I love this series called “Tales That Tell the Truth.” A few have been made into board books, but I think they are abridged a bit…
Goodbye to Goodbyes: The True Story of Jesus, Lazarus, and an Empty Tomb Lauren Chandler, illustrated by Catalina Echeverri (The Good Book Company) $14.99 ONE WEEK ONLY – SPECIAL 30% OFF SALE PRICE = $10.49
By the way, this one in the “Tales That Tell the Truth” series is really useful, too, for yet another way into the story, for young or old. This is about Jesus rolling the stone away from the grave of his friend Lazarus and saying goodbye, an allusive way to explain death. It shows how we all have to say goodbye sometimes. But then when his own death and resurrection are explained (with the disciples sad about saying goodbye) we learn about Christ’s defeat of death. And the celebration that creates. They have Jesus saying, “There is a day coming when we will say goodbye to saying goodbyes forever. Do you believe that?” Goodbye to Goodbyes: The True Story of Jesus, Lazarus, and an Empty Tomb is wonderful.
The Easter Story Brian Wildsmith (Eerdmans) $21.00 ONE WEEK ONLY – SPECIAL 30% OFF SALE PRICE = $14.70
Those who collect high quality children’s picture books know the name Brian Wildsmith. HIs artwork combines intricate pen and ink drawings fully and vibrantly colorized laid over with gold, surrounded by often bright and always warm watercolor washes. This slightly oversized volume is excellently done, as you would expect, with a bit of busy whimsy, even (look closely and you’ll notice Jesus on the donkey holding a carrot.) With the vivid colors (and sometimes wings, added) one reviewer says his books are like the set of a grand opera.
‘Twas the Morning of Easter Glenys Nellist, illustrated by Elena Selivanova (Zonderkidz) $17.99 ONE WEEK ONLY – SPECIAL 30% OFF SALE PRICE = $12.59
With lovely, conventional watercolors and good realistic art, this nice telling follows the cadence of “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” I was afraid it might be overly sentimental or cheesy, but I think it works really well. The soft watercolor paintings are excellent, making this a really nice book to enjoy and over.
The Easter Story for Children Max Lucado, Randy Frazee, and Karen Davis Hill, illustrations by Fausto Bianchi (Zondervan) $6.99 ONE WEEK ONLY – SPECIAL 30% OFF SALE PRICE = $4.89
This great thin paperback book for ages 5-10 is nearly like a graphic novel with so many large, rich cartoons illustrations — it is dark and vivid and beautiful. It is drawn from the bigger hardback children’s Bible that was part of the “Story” project called The Story for Children. Nicely done.
Easter Love Letters from God: Bible Stories Glenys Nellist, illustrated by Sophie Allsopp (Zonderkidz) $16.99 ONE WEEK ONLY- 30% OFF SPECIAL SALE PRICE = $11.89
We really, really like this, as do the families we’ve sold it to in the past. There are two previous ones, Love Letters from God and one specifically for girls, Love Letters for a Girl’s Heart.) It is a very nice picture book, with great illustrations, telling the whole story of Holy Week but on each page there is a little pouch that looks like (well, actually is) an envelope that opens up with a hand written letter from God in the envelope. So besides the dramatic reading and aesthetically pleasing illustrations, there is this lift-the-flap action. The child gets to open the envelope, retrieve the letter, and read it, making it not only interactive and fun, but personalizing God’s great love. They say ages 4 – 8 but I’d say even a bit older, if they are open to this sweet approach. I think there are 7 “letters”, one for each of the major stories.
The Very First Easter Paul Maier, illustrated by Fransisco Ordaz (Concordia) $8.99 ONE WEEK ONLY – 30% OFF SPECIAL SALE PRICE = $6.29
This is a very nice book, nice paper, very lush, realistic art, a pretty straight telling of the story, sandwiched with a fictional device of a (very white) family having devotions, so it ends with some modern day discussion around the table with mom, dad, kiddos. That’s fine, if pretty traditional. There is a lot of text, so it wouldn’t work to read out loud in one “children’s sermon” I don’t think, as it is longer… But it gets the story told with vivid, conventional art.
A Very Happy Easter Tim Thornborough (The Good Book Company) $4.99 ONE WEEK ONLY – SPECIAL 30% OFF SALE PRICE = $3.49
This is cute and yet sound and uses fairly basic language so it would work for little-er children. One of the fun things is that it says in the beginning to try to make faces that match some emotional words throughout the story. Worried, sad, happy, you know. It’s fun and actually a good way to communicate the impact of the story. Anyway, it would be fine to read out loud and have some fun with… bright pictures of kids. I hope you know his other distinctively styled (thanks to Jennifer Davision) Bible stories, including the popular Very Noisy Christmas.
SMALLER BOARD BOOKS
Holy Week: An Emotions Primer (in the “Baby Believer” series) Danielle Hitchen, art by Jessica Blanchard (Harvest House) $12.99 ONE WEEK ONLY – SPECIAL 30% OFF SALE PRICE = $9.09
We are very fond of this but it’s a bit hard to know who can use it best and how. It is very simple, for toddlers, in a board book style, teaching emotions — joy, anger, sadness, fear, and more and helps them to understand emotions are good and made by God. So each scene from Holy Week offers in larger letters a one world emotion. It is really clear and honest and helpful and good, but is it too intense or sophisticated for the very young? Does the simplicity make it too mature for little children? I don’t know, but it’s a remarkable little book and are quite taken with it. There are a few in this series, teaching colors, numbers, and other things from the Bible.
Make Space for Jesus: Learning About Lent and Easter Laura Alary, illustrated by Ann Boyajian (Paraclete Press) $11.99 ONE WEEK ONLY – SPECIAL 30% OFF SALE PRICE = $8.39
Paraclete Press does very nice books, but their wheelhouse (what Roman Catholics might call a charism) is doing thoughtful books on spirituality. When they approach these sorts of themes in books for children, they are often really good. Laura Alary lives in Toronto and is a great storyteller; even though this is a short board book, you can tell she knows how to render the words just so. Ann Boyajian is a lovely illustrator; we have her Paraclete paperback Journey to the Heart: Centering Prayer for Children. This new board book, Making Space for Jesus is adapted from their larger picture book Make Room: A Child’s Guide to Lent and Easter.
Jesus Rose for Me: The True Story of Easter Jared Kennedy (New Growth Press) $12.99
ONE WEEK ONLY – SPECIAL 30% OFF SALE PRICE = $9.09
This is a larger than usual board, but it does have those thick pages and just a few words on the page. Really bright, simple colors. It tells briefly the story of Jesus, his life and last week, death and resurrection. Here is how they describe it: “Jesus is risen, and because Jesus is alive, every day is resurrection day! Jesus Rose for Me by author Jared Kennedy is a board book for children ages three to seven that captures the true meaning of Easter. Help your kids celebrate every Easter so they can learn how Jesus is our King.” I like that, despite the title, it seems to alludes to God’s huge redemptive project, not really just “for me.” But, at least, for me.
My First Easter Storybook Laura Richie, illustrated by Ian Dale (Cook) $8.99 ONE WEEK ONLY – SPECIAL 30% OFF SALE PRICE = $6.29
Many folks liked their previous Advent Storybook and the little My First Advent Storybook. This one is quite small (like My First Advent Storybook) and has very nice art with Jesus and his people looking characteristically Middle Eastern and Jewish. There’s a cute little question with each for baby readers — “How many animals can you find” “Can you point to Jesus?” Nicely done.
A FEW THAT ARE NOT ABOUT EASTER
Little Prayers for Ordinary Days Katy Bowser Hutson, Flo Paris Oakes, and Tish Harrison Warren (IVP Kids) $15.00 ONE WEEK ONLY – SPECIAL 30% OFF SALE PRICE = $10.50
Oh my, even though there are plenty of little prayer books for children, there is nothing quite like this. Perhaps inspired somewhat by Tish Warren’s own Liturgy of the Ordinary or the author’s familiarity with Rabbit Room’s Every Moment Holy, this small book for kids is simple, the prayers short, nothing fancy, but sure and sound and God-glorifying. There are truly prayers for throughout the day, evoking God’s presence into the seemingly secular and mundane. Beth and I respect these women immensely and we are very eager to recommend it. Perfect for a little Easter basket. Hooray!
The Tiny Truths Bible for Little Ones Joanna Rivard & Tim Penner (Zonderkidz) $12.99 ONE WEEK ONLY – SPECIAL 30% OFF SALE PRICE = $9.09
Rather like a board book but more regular sized with a padded cover this is “perfect for little hands and little hearts.” It has twelve stories from the Old and New Testament, pleasantly told and illustrated with lovely, upbeat drawings. Okay, maybe they are a little goofy, but charming nonetheless. (This one matches the equally charming Tiny Truths Illustrated Bible and one called Wonder & Wisdom which retells some Psalms and Proverbs.) You will notice that these happily does not portray the Bible characters — from Moses through Jesus and his followers — as European but as persons with dark skin. Which is not to say (please!) that this is only for African American children. Right? Good for children maybe 4 – 6.
The Apostle’s Creed for All God’s Children Ben Myers, art by Natasha Kennedy (Lexham) $17.99 ONE WEEK ONLY – SPECIAL 30% OFF SALE PRICE = $12.59
When we announced this several months back, some folks were just excited to see the thoughtful, theologically rich, Lexham Press entering the children’s book market. Some where glad to see the remarkably good (and remarkably brief) book on the Apostle’s Creed by Ben Meyers (The Apostle’s Creed: A Guide to the Ancient Catechism) done for children. And so we raved, glad for such a creatively illustrated, helpful, interesting children’s picture book on this important, ancient document. The explanation is child-friendly and poetic, solid but upbeat. The extra prayers and Scriptures are a real bonus. Highly recommended.
Go and Do Likewise: The Parables and Wisdom of Jesus John Hendrix (Abrams Books) $18.00 ONE WEEK ONLY – SPECIAL 30% OFF SALE PRICE = $12.60
You may recall us raving about this talented illustrator and graphic novelist and storyteller. His graphic comic rendition of Bonhoeffer called The Faithful Spy shows up as a classic by anyone’s standards. (His forthcoming illustrated study of the Holy Spirit [The Holy Ghost: A Spirited Comic] is coming next month and we’re excited, for sure!) This is a stunning picture book, but the strong, lavish art —not to mention the thoughtful retelling of the Lord’s stories and teachings — is so captivating, it should be appreciated by a wide range of children. See also his companion volume Miracle Man: The Story of Jesus on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
How Much Is a Little Girl Worth Rachael Denhollander, illustrated by Morgan Huff (Tyndale Kids) $14.99 ONE WEEK ONLY – SPECIAL 30% OFF SALE PRICE = $10.49
How Much Is a Little Boy Worth Rachel & Jacob Denhollander illustrated by Marcin Piwowarski (Tyndale Kids) $14.99 ONE WEEK ONLY – SPECIAL 30% OFF SALE PRICE = $10.49
I hope you know the story of — and more, the person — Rachael Denhollander. She was the one who so bravely first exposed the awful sexual abuse of young women perpetrated by a doctor for the USA Olympic Gymnastic team; What Is a Girl Worth? My Story of Breaking the Silence and Exposing the Truth about Larry Nassar and USA Gymnastics her own adult memoir, her story of learning to love gymnastics, her faith and athleticism, and the terrible negligence of those who should have protected these young women who were routinely assaulted. She is a strong woman of faith, a respected attorney, and a clear-headed but soft-hearted advocate for those who have been hurt. These two picture books (the boys one is brand new this week) are both lovely and valuable, each reminding children that they are treasured and special, full of dignity and worth.
Wonder Awaits! Caroline Hamilton-Arnold (Chalice Press) $16.99 ONE WEEK ONLY – SPECIAL 30% OFF SALE PRICE = $11.89
Several years ago there was a trend of using full color photography (especially of little children and nature) in kid’s books and it seems that has shifted back to illustration and artwork. It’s fun and striking to see one like this, again, with lots of full color, close up photos of real faces. Little ones will love this, I’m sure! The words are bright but sparse, inviting kids to be curious, be present, be aware. This is very nice.
Breath: A Child’s Guide to Ascension, Pentecost, and the Growing Time Laura Alary, illustrated by Cathrin Peterslund (Paraclete Press) $16.99 ONE WEEK ONLY – SPECIAL 30% OFF SALE PRICE = $11.89
We noted our fondness for most of the kid’s books of Paraclete Press and the writing of Laura Alary, above. Here is one that would be nice to give at Easter, or sometime thereafter, as it moves us towards what comes next in the story: the Ascension. There are few books on this, let alone a lovely one like this that, in soft and gentle ways, also points us towards Pentecost. Laura Alary got her MDiv from Knox College at the University of Toronto and her Phd at the University of St. Michael’s College. This juxtaposes a picture from Jesus’s day and a picture from a modern day family, exploring the question of “How can Jesus go away, yet promise to be with us always?” It is really nicely done.
Breathe is an invitation to wonder, delight, and celebration and incorporates breathtaking illustrations along with masterful reflection and prose. True to Alary’s style and other work, Breathe is a must-have for every parent and Christian Educator I know. — Traci Smith, author of Faithful Families
Josey Johnson’s Hair and the Holy Spirit Esau McCaulley, illustrated by LaTonya Jackson (IVP Kids) $18.00 ONE WEEK ONLY – SPECIAL 30% OFF SALE PRICE = $12.60
Oh my, many have been waiting for this one since it was announced a while back. The fabulous and respected IVP publishing house has launched out into kids books and this is not only fairly unique, but is written by one of their authors, the esteemed Biblical scholar Esau McCaulley (of Reading While Black: African American Biblical Interpretation as an Exercise in Hope.) McCaulley, you may know, got his PhD in Biblical studies under N.T. Wright (I’ve heard him talk a bit about being a black guy from a deep South, black church studying with Anglicans in Scotland of all places!) Dr. McCaulley writes od-eds for The New York Times and one notable piece was about his experience of his wife being away on military service and him being for a season functionally a single dad. I have a hunch he knows a lot about the hair of his beautiful black daughter.
This book, though, is, truly, about Josey Johnson’s hair and about the upcoming celebration of Pentecost. In the story — energetically illustrated in a way that is just full of motion, it seems — Josey has to get her hair done and buy a new red dress as they get ready for the church commemoration. Besides the beauty shop, they visit an art museum, too. Of course there is the question, “What is Pentecost?” And, I might add, “What difference does it make?” Might it have something to do with the claim on the back cover that says:
We’re all different because God is creative. Each one of us is God’s unique work of art.
You’ll have to get this one to put it all together, but it is an exciting story, a tender story, an educational one for most of us (who may not know that much about Pentecost, actually.) So, yep, this is a vivid story about a celebration of a girl’s hair and a key moment in the liturgical calendar. If that isn’t interesting to you, I don’t know what is!
The O in Hope: A Poem of Wonder Luci Shaw, artwork by Ned Bustard (IVP Kids) $18.00 ONE WEEK ONLY – SPECIAL 30% OFF SALE PRICE = $12.60
This magnificent and artful book came out near the end of last year, one of the very first IVP released when they launched their new IVPKids line. We have complimented it before and suggested it to our readers. Of course, who doesn’t love the poetry of Luci Shaw. And who that follows BookNotes doesn’t know how we appreciate Ned Bustard, creative director and editor at Square Halo Books? A clever poem, lined out with colorful visuals, about hope? A very nice Easter gift, we think! Highly recommended.
The Biggest Story Bible Storybook Kevin DeYoung, illustrated by Don Clark (Crossway) $29.99 ONE WEEK ONLY – SPECIAL 30% OFF SALE PRICE = $20.99
We have bunches of children’s Bibles with all sorts of literary and art styles, theological tones, reading levels and prices. We believe families of young children should have several and even when kids start reading, such volumes can helpfully supplement their efforts to read the Bible. There are so many and we love a lot of them.
This one is very new and is understandably getting a lot of attention. It is well made, hefty, the spine sewn, the paper sturdy, and it includes a ribbon marker. The art is edgy and modern and spectacularly colorful. The content, as the publisher notes, “features chapters that are short enough to be read in one sitting and imaginatively retells the biblical narrative in one continuous story, helping kids connect the dots from Genesis to Revelation.”
In fact, the The Biggest Story Bible Storybook is an expanded version of the earlier book, The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden. If you ponder the subtitle a bit you’ll note the way that passage from Genesis 3 about defeating evil becomes the earliest promise of redemption and how the whole history of salvation unfolds with covenant and fulfillment with twists and turns towards Jesus and his Kingdom. I liked that colorful book and applaud the publisher for expanding it to this breathtaking, fuller book. With memorable retellings of 104 Bible stories in 524 pages (and a prayer at the close of each story) it’s a keeper.
DeYoung is a pastor formerly of Ann Arbor Michigan, now in North Carolina and has authored many books. He is also a professor of Systematic Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte.)
Don Clark is an artist and cofounder of Invisible Creature, a widely respected and award-winning design studio based in Seattle, Washington. He has worked with clients such as Target, Pixar, NASA, The New York Times, LEGO, and Apple. Don and his wife, Erika, have three children and live on a small farm just outside Seattle.
Everybody Always for Kids Bob Goff with Lindsey Goff Viducich, with illustrations by Diane Le Feyer (Tommy Nelson) $17.99 ONE WEEK ONLY – SPECIAL 30% OFF SALE PRICE = $12.59
Whenever we are asked for upbeat and assessable books with a great message for elementary age kids, we recommend the children’s version of Bob Goff’s Love Does or, especially, this one, celebrating ways to love everybody, always. This retells Bob’s whimsical stories in Everybody Always (with the help of his daughter, Lindsey Goff Viduccich, who is an elementary teacher.) There are 40 entertaining stories and some colorful illustrations. A nice presentation page, too.195 pages. Fantastic!
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