Holy Week and Easter books for kids, a new children’s bible by N.T. Wright, and more (old and new.) ALL 20% OFF

Here are some titles we have in stock here at the shop that you could order and we could send right away (at least while supplies last, in some cases.) We’re happy to help you put some inspiring books about the truest meaning of Easter into the Easter baskets of kiddos you know.

First a handful of titles for little ones about Easter-time, Jesus’s last week, his death and resurrection.

Then some random ones that will nicely provide happy hours in conversation about things that matter most. (Don’t miss the brand new children’s storybook Bible put together world-famous Biblical scholar, N.T. Wright!)

Even more than during Christmastime, when there are so many social and cultural distractions, Easter could be a time to talk with your loved ones — adults too! — about what this odd holiday, from an awful Friday called Good to the surprising laughter of resurrection, is all about. There are no simple formulas and nothing rote will quite do, so these books can help create different kinds of conversations that could last for months. It’s a good investment, I’d say.

If you don’t have children or grandchildren, I bet you know somebody who does, and who would appreciate a little gift. Or maybe you could donate some to a church or public library? In any case, these are great resources for stimulating good conversations.

Scroll to the bottom of the reviews to see the link to our secure order form where you can easily order. We’ll confirm your order promptly and send them out quickly. ALL BOOKS MENTIONED ARE 20% OFF.

(Of course you can always visit our website and enter “Easter” into the search engine of our archived BookNotes and find older titles we once recommended. If they are still in print, we may have those, too; the price may have changed but we’ll still do the 20% off. Don’t hesitate to ask us for whatever you are looking for. We are here to help.)

God’s Holy Darkness Sharei Green & Beckah Selnick, illustrated by Nikki Faison (Beaming Books) $17.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $14.39

In the last BookNotes I mentioned a sermon by Rev. David Bisgrove of Redeemer Presbyterian in NYC, naming the need for lament and the sorrow, noting that the disciples who fell asleep on the night of Jesus’s arrest were “exhausted from sorrow.” He quoted, nicely, the beautifully-written Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor. He could have equally explained the value of Tish Harrison Warren’s exceptional Prayer in the Night: For Those Who Work or Watch or Weep. Anyway, Lent is a time for such sober reflections and Holy Week, properly understood, is the most painful of our church year; some of us go to church to sit in the darkness.

This stunning book, as I noted in last year’s BookNotes review, is not really on Lent (Christ’s death is mentioned in one spread) but is a children’s intriguing reflection on the “beauty of God’s holy darkness.” It invites us into Biblical episodes of deep darkness (including when Jesus was born and when he died) and ends up deconstructing anti-Blackness in Christian theology. This is a good and beautiful book, moving and gentle and thought-provoking.

The King of Easter: Jesus Searches for All God’s Children Todd R. Hains, illustrated by Natasha Kennedy Lexham Press) $17.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $14.39

We have raved about these “FatCat Books” before, so grateful for the handsome illustrations and the exceptionally wise, faithful telling of the Biblical story. This triumphant King of Easter stands alongside The King of Christmas, and shows how so many of the characters we meet in the New Testament are found and saved by Jesus. What fun, and how unexpected in an Easter book. This quick overview of stories children may have heard come together in the reality of the resurrection and the love of God behind it all. The King of Easter still seeks and saves the lost, and he is seeking each child today. Highly recommended.

Bare Tree and Little Wind: A Story for Holy Week Mitali Perkins, illustrated by Khoa Le (Waterbrook) $15.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $12.79

Last year we declared this as one of the most creative, interesting, artfully illustrated books about the Holy Week story. Perkins is an internationally-known and respected author of several YA books and her novelist’s eye gives her a nice way to tell this story. You may know her intriguing story for Christmas called Holy Night and Little Star and if you liked that, you’ll love this one.

The publisher has introduced us to the story this way:

Little Wind and the trees of Jerusalem can’t wait for the character called Real King to visit. But Little Wind is puzzled when the king doesn’t look how he expected. His wise friend Bare Tree helps him learn that sometimes strength is found in sacrifice, and new life can spring up even when all hope seems lost.

This story stands apart for its imagination, endearing characters, and how it weaves Old Testament imagery into Holy Week and the promise of Jesus’s triumphant return. While the youngest readers will connect to the curious Little Wind, older children and parents will appreciate the layers of meaning and Scriptural references in the story, making it a book families can enjoy together year after year.

Journey with Jesus — An Easter Story Ann Ingalls, illustrated by Steliyana Donna (Paraclete Press) $12.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $10.39

This is a lovely little book, ideal for those who enjoy rhyming cadences (but that retain some elegance.) This story starts with Palm Sunday and nicely shows and tells children about the events of Holy Week. I like the notion of “journey” here and may suggest to kids that we are in this with our Lord…

Ann Ingalls is known in the world of children’s books as she has written over sixty books for young readers. Pencil: A Story with a Point made the Banks Street Best Books list of 2020. J is for Jazz won the 2015 Annual American Graphic Design Award and the Ella Fitzgerald Foundation’s “A Book Just for Me!” as did her Little Piano Girl.

I like that she once quipped that, when given the choice between educating children or entertaining them with her writing, she “chooses to do both.”

Artist Steliyana Doneva studied graphic design at St. Cyril and St Methods University and lives in Sofia, Bulgaria.

10 Days of the Easter Story: A Family Experience Through the Feelings of Holy Week Josh & Christi Straub, illustrated by Angelika Scudamore (BHKids) $12.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $10.39

What a creative, interesting, useful book. The back cover exclaims that we can “Experience the Easter story in a whole new way!”

And that is what this creative family devotional attempts to do. From the happiness of Palm Sunday to the surprise at the Last Supper to the sadness at the cross (and of course, the joy at the empty tomb) — the week of Jesus’s death and resurrection was filled with emotion.This book helps the children of your family journey through the key moments of Holy Week by “encountering the emotions people felt during the week that changed the world.”

Each day offers a retelling of the biblical story, a prayer, family-time questions, and an exploration of that day’s emotion. With ideas for activities and pages to record family responses, this book will become a keepsake to be used year after year. They say it is for ages 5 to 12.

(For a very well-done board book for toddlers or pre-schoolers, by the way, that covers some of this same content, see Holy Week: An Emotions Primer in the wonderful Baby Believers series of board books created by Danielle Hitchen & Jessica Blanchard and published by Harvest House. It goes for $12.99 (OUR BOOKNOTES 20% OFF SALE PRICE = $10.39 and is designed simply for very little ones. What an idea!)


The Empty Tomb: A Story of Easter Brian Sibley, illustrated by Stephen Waterhouse (Lion Press) $8.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $7.19

We like having several relatively inexpensive paperback books, colorful and fun, and Biblically-faithful, that make a nice little thing to tuck in to an Easter basket. This small book is just great, easy-to-read as an engaging re-telling of the Easter story. The Empty Tomb, too, goes from Palm Sunday through the resurrection, and events after the resurrection, and up to Pentecost.

I love this little book from the UK, with just a bit of edge to the art, but mostly fairly realistic (and Jesus is not shown as a white European.) This is a fun, creative choice for ages 6 and up. Hooray.

(And don’t forget previously-listed, colorful paperbacks that are inexpensive, like the very cute A Very Happy Easter (for ages 2-4) by Tim Thornborough or the great The Easter Fix (for ages 3 – 5, maybe) by Steph Williams or the Zonderkiz “I Can Read” early reader (with art from “The Beginner’s Bible) called Jesus Saves the World for very new readers.

All of these are $4.99 each, while supplies last.)




My First Easter Storybook Board Book Laura Richie, illustrated by Ian Dale (David C. Cook) $8.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $7.19

Done on the imprint “Chasing Hope Press” this little volume is short and sweet, very nicely done, with a realistic tone, in a small board book format. Perhaps you know her My First Advent Storybook, which is very similar. Nice — although I suppose that since there is a page of text with each facing picture, it isn’t for infants…

The Art of Holy Week and Easter: Meditations on the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus Sister Wendy Beckett (IVP) $17.00  OUR SALE PRICE = $13.60

This small hand-sized book is a companion to the very popular The Art of Lent and while it is not designed to be a children’s book and the reflections are themselves spiritually mature (and artistically informed) I am confident that some of this can be used with children and youth. There is no reason why we have to only offer children kiddie pictures. Try this.

The Art of Lent Sister Wendy Beckett (IVP) $17.00  OUR SALE PRICE = $13.60

We still have some of The Art of Lent, too, which has even more crisp photos of classic art. This is a great resource and you may want to have one around, year round. A real variety of art, as well.


Christ Among Us: Sculptures of Jesus Across the History of Art Jospeh Antenucci Becherer & Henry Martin Luttikhuizen (Eerdmans) $45.00  OUR SALE PRICE = $36.00

If you are ambitious, this oversized hardback is unique as it doesn’t offer pictures and commentary on paintings but on sculptures; it is one of the best books of it’s kind. I bet some kids would find this endlessly fascinating. Obviously, this isn’t designed for children, but having these kind of coffee table books around could be life-changing.

Joseph Antenucci Becherer is the director and curator of sculpture at the University of Notre Dame art museum. Formerly he was the founding director and curator of the sculpture program at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park and professor of art history at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Henry Martin Luttikhuizen is professor of art history emeritus at Calvin University. He has co-authored and co-edited several books on medieval and northern Renaissance art.


God’s Big Picture Bible Storybook – 140 Connecting Bible Stories of God’s Faithful Promises N. T. Wright, illustrated by Helena Perez Garcia (Tommy Nelson) $24.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $19.99

If this isn’t the coolest thing for kids and families — heck, for anyone! — this season, I don’t know what is. We had heard Tom was doing a children’s Bible story book and, of course, we are thrilled. It is fantastic, just fabulous. I respect his Biblical insight and his theological worldview that shapes his deep understanding of the interconnectedness of Scriptural episodes, so this book which will amplify the unfolding nature of the drama is sure to be a fabulous resource for any family wanting to not only get the stories right, but the Story.

Often, after the telling of the stories the phrase “What else in God’s big story links up with this?” nicely appears and there are one or two little colorful circles with a word and a page number to show how those themes show up in other stories. I’m not saying it is like the old Thompson Chain Study Bible, but it sure is a very nice feature.

There are other children’s Bibles these days that show the interconnectedness of the overall biblical plot, and we are grateful. There are some that may have a more edgy sort of artistic appeal to young parents, or a higher quality of illustration, but this has fairly typical art for kids. More could be said about what might have been done better and while it may not be my choice for the best looking design, it is still quite engaging and good. The fabulous text is on the left of the spread and the vivid picture is on the right (with a hint of color or symbol or a bit of the picture spilling over just a bit onto the page of text, which is a nice, integrated touch.) For ages 6 to 10 or 11, I’d say, this is a fabulous new resource. Every church library should have one.

The Peace Table: A Storybook Bible Chrissie Muecke and others (Herald Press) $32.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $26.39

This hefty, lush, excellent children’s storybook Bible also has 140 interconnected Biblical stories and it is very intentional about sharing vital themes of Scripture — from the importance that we are made in God’s image to the truth that God’s table has room for us all. The Peace Table is, they say, “a comprehensive family storybook Bible that makes God’s presence and peace real to children of all ages.” Yes!!

The art is diverse, serious, often really excellent, allusive but not weird; there were more than 30 artists involved from around the globe. There are prayer prompts, questions, action ideas, and lots to discuss. Wow.

Twelve “peace paths” encourage children to explore the ways that peace themes are woven throughout the Old and New Testament. That the Mennonites and Brethren church folk who put this together “get” these themes more than some of us is obvious and it is a great, great, gift to the broader body of Christ, highlighting overt Bible teaching that many overlook or ignore. For those that know the remarkable Shine Bible, this has those interactive features and colorful design and more!  One of our favorite children’s Bible resources, for sure.

God’s Big Promises Bible Storybook Carl Laferton, illustrated by Jennifer Davison (The Good Book Company) $22.99   OUR SALE PRICE = $18.39

I trust Carl Laferton very much as he is the amazing, best-selling author of books like The Garden, the Curtain and the Cross (part of our very favorite Bible story series called “Tales That Tell the Truth.”) The art in those books is creative and fun and the telling of the tales — a gospel-entered orientation connecting God’s faithfulness in various stories that Laferton brilliantly weaves together — is second to none. We’re fans.

This, however, brings him using his colorful writing style walking us through the Biblical narrative, introducing young children to 92 key stories, with some emphasis on the one big story that runs throughout all of it— “the story of how God always keeps his promises.”

The volume is, in that sense, not unlike the above two, or the must-read Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones. This one is closer to the size of that almost compact one (unlike the two large ones listed above.) It is a bit weighty, though, due to the thicker nice paper.

The artist is based in Northern Ireland and does a fine job in a pretty conventional way in which that children’s artists work these days. They have an almost cartoon/illustration style a la the best of Disney, say. I so appreciated the art of Catalina Echeverri who worked with Laferton before, but this is not that. It is vivid and media-aware kids will love it, I’m sure. It would make a great follow-up to Sally Lloyd Jones, I’d say.

The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden  Kevin DeYoung, illustrated by Don Clark (Crossway) $17.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $14.39

This was the extraordinary overview of the Bible, connecting the dots in one epic story, that preceded the massive and exceedingly hip The Biggest Story Bible Storybook ($34.99.) Don Clark’s ultra modern, schematic, choppy, way-cool art is breath-taking and so complex it bears many, many viewings, and it is so eye-catchingly unusual that we recommend starting with this smaller, less costly volume before deciding if you want the big, bone-fide storybook Bible by the same creative team. The Biggest Story is like dad DeYoung (he’s got a number of kids so knows what he’s doing) re-telling the big Bible story in overview fashion, using the Genesis 3:15 promise about crushing evil — theologians call it the protoevangelon about which the entire Bible is the outworking of the promised fulfillment — as the key motif. This is brilliant, vivid, well-told (even if the print is a bit small and even if we don’t really go back to the garden since the Bible’s end is in a new city.) What a promise and what a book.

Growing In God’s Love: A Story Bible Elizabeth F. Caldwell and Carol A. Wehrheim, editors (WJK) $25.00  OUR SALE PRICE = $20.00

I so respect the women who edited this — both experienced Christian educators who have worked with children their whole lives — and we list this whenever we are highlighted Bible resources for kids and families. This was created with a team of global artists who use a variety of styles, all quite nice (not overly sentimental or cute but nothing too odd) to compliment the engaging writing, the substance and the invitation to wonder.

This is a study Bible for kids, but it’s questions are not merely about content, but about engaging the story, entering it, wondering about it. I suppose it isn’t quite “Godly Play” but it does ask kids to ponder and be curious. In fact, the format is arranged nicely around “Hear, See, Act” and these reflection questions are fabulously generative. This will help you as you try to nurture the faith of the children in your life.

We have said before that this is ideal for children ages 4 – 8 but I think it could be useful for those who are bit older, too. The 150 Bible stories are divided into thirteen themes that relate to the lives of most children. The art is diverse, the assumptions about readers is never exclusive, and all kinds of families and readers are welcomed into the adventure. We are fond of this and glad for it’s keen awareness of the heart of the story: the revelations and works of a God who loves us.

Jesus Loves the Little Children Dallas & Amanda Jenkins, illustrated by Kristen Hendricks (David C. Cook) $16.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $13.59

I believe the actual title of this slightly oversized (but not too thick) book is “The CHOSEN Presents.” If you are a fan of the show (and from all reasonable accounts, you should be) you may know the names of Amanda Jenkins and Kristen Hendricks. They are the primary creators of The Chosen’s extra content, including the devotionals that some of you have ordered from us. Dallas is the famous creator of the show and wrote the script that this great kid’s book is based on.

The art is whimsical but solid, creative and clever. The theme that Jesus loves children is so central — and revolutionary, actually! — and we can’t ever suggest too many books like this.

In this one-of-a-kind story, Jesus is doing carpentry with children, fishing with kids, bending down energetically to teach them, citing — get this! — Luke 4, his first sermon, a key text that too many children’s Bibles miss. At one point he calls them his students, and I wonder if that simple line from the Master might just be worth the whole price of this book. Does your child view themselves as a student of Jesus? Is he a beloved teacher? I really like this new, colorful, creative book.

Who Is Jesus? 40 Pictures to Share with Your Family Kate Hox, illustrated by Joe Hox (New Growth Press) $24.00  OUR SALE PRICE = $19.20

We’ve mentioned this before, but it seems so interesting and appropriate for this season, we had to tell you about it again. This is a classy collection of graphic art designs — more icons or graphics than pictures, I guess — of things that stand for stuff from the life and death of Jesus. Each item is used as a symbol to teach about the classic views of God, goodness, sin, brokenness, God’s promises, Christ’s death, redemption, hope, and more. It a way it offers a systematic theology of the story of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah. It’s pretty cool, some of it in an artful style that seems a bit retro, which is a cool vibe these days.

These word pictures bring the gospel to life and help our young ones come to know and love Jesus. Famous graphic designer John Hendrix (you should know his graphic biography of Bonhoeffer) says it is “a gorgeous delight… highly written and visually evocative.”

When I Go to Church I Belong Elrena Evans, illustrated by Rebecca Evans (IVP Kids) $18.00  OUR SALE PRICE = $14.40

Oh my, I wish I would have had this book to sell to families so many years ago. It is right and good on several levels. Just the reminder that church is to be a safe place, a good gathering of extended family — my, this needs to be said, so children learn that their church family is comprised, truly, of siblings in Christ. The title says it all. Does your child know they belong that they are always welcome at church? This lovely book is a strong reminder. I am happy to announce it again, in case you missed our previous review.

Something else is going on in this wonderful, poignant book. You see, the story is about a child who is neurodiverse and realized that her congregational family accepts her uniquenesses as they are. She mentions feeling awkward with the sights and sounds (oh, the sounds) of church activities, from Sunday school to worship services to children’s programs. They make some accomodations. In a way, this is a delightful witness to a congregation that is aware of those with disabilities and tries hard not to isolate or alienate those who may not be typical. The subtitle on the back of this book is “Finding My Place in God’s Family as a Child with Special Needs.”

I get choked up when I come to the page where the little girl says, “Sometimes people look at me because I make a lot of noise. I know I’m still welcome.”

And, again, when she says, “When I got to church, I hear stories about God. Sometimes I understand the stores, and sometimes I don’t. I have lots and lots of things I want to say, but I need to be quiet so that other kids can listen. That’s hard.”

The note from the author at the end is good for caregivers and parents, and ends with Romans 12:4-5.

I really respect Elrena Evans (who has an MFA from Penn State, by the way.) She wrote the very useful Special Grace: Prayers and Reflection for Families with Special Needs which has as many prayers as any book I know for those with handicapped or disabled kids. I love the illustrations, too — they are all very well done, moving even, as you notice more stuff happening in the background scenes in nearly every page.

You may love giving this to a child for Easter, reminding them what the local church is all about. If you have children with special needs, anxieties, disabilities or whatever, this could be reassuring. I’m going to be honest, though, if you are still reading: it may be that your church is not so enabling, handicap accesible, or sensitive to making room for everybody, special needs and all. This could be a catalyst. Give it to your pastor, Christian educators, church leaders. We can make our faith communities more reflective of the generous spaces they are called to be. Right? I love this book. Kudos all.

Zion Learns to See  Terrence Lester & Zion Lester, illustrated by Subi Bosa (IVP Kids) $18.00  OUR SALE PRICE = $14.40

What does it mean to live in a way I sometimes call “resurrectionary”? What sort of book could you give a child that invites next steps in the life of faith, showing how to care for others in a pretty hurting world?

I think this brand new book gives us a great clue, a kid’s book based on the remarkable adult writings of Terence Lester such as I See You: How Love Opens Our Eyes to Invisible People and When We Stand: The Power of Seeking Justice Together (that has a foreword by Father Gregory Boyle.) In this charming, remarkable book, young Zion sees a man degrade a homeless person and starts asking questions, learns from her dad to “really see” as God does, and to do something about the systemic problems that cause poverty in their community. This is sweet and radical, a great book to give to anyone who might have a heart for the poor, or who ought to. Highly recommended. And pick up Terence’s adult titles, too, while your at it.

Home Isabele Simler, illustrated by Vineet Lal (Eerdmans) $18.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $19.20

Do you know the fabulous Advent book called All Creation Waits: The Advent Mystery of New Beginnings (and a kids version, too) that shows how various animals hibernate? That becomes an obvious metaphor of waiting in the darkness, eager for new life. This book, Home, might be used in a similarly creative manner although it was not designed to be overtly religious. It is a contemporary look at many homes of many animals, and, as it says on the back, to be inspired by the “architectural wonders of the natural world.”

Step inside the dwellings of twenty-seven different animals, including “a hermit crab’s secondhand shell, an alpine marmot’s hay-line burrow, and a hummingbird’s tiny teacup of a nest.”

Home is done with enchanting poetry and intricately detailed art. (You may know Simler’s exquiste, award winning book about animals, birds, and flowers approaching evening called The Blue Hour.) There is plenty to observe, learn, and celebrate (including the Latin / scientific names) but the main teaching style is a poem about each habitat. This is fantastic, creative, colorful, and, without even knowing it, maybe, it offers us a theology of place. Home. Yes!

God’s Earth Is Something To Fight For Amy Houts, illustrated by Kris Smolskaya  (Sunbeam) $18.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $15.19

We love this book and you will too! It is Biblical, with lovely texts from Old and New Testaments, helping children learn that they are commanded by God to take care of the world. (“So let’s get to it!”) There are scientific facts and theological truths, and creative art and exciting action and it seems to me there is no other book that is so faithful in explaining God’s call and how we have to care enough to protect it. This is fun and compelling.

Amy Houts has written other fabulous early learning books and his Sunbeam imprint does top-notch work. For every book that is purchased, they donate another to a needy child. Hooray.

The Heart Who Wanted to Be Whole Beth Guckenberger, illustrated by Irina Miley (David C. Cook) $17.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $14.39

I’m going to admit that I wasn’t, at first, fond of the artwork on the cover. That heart? The obvious band-aids? Not my style, but maybe your child will warm to it. It is sort of funny, and also sort of sad. Regardless, this story is not only precious, but vital, not only a tender illustration of the love of God and power of God’s love to heal, but a reminder that there are some who desperately need this message. Most of us, I suppose, have deep wounds, and some kids have been hurt, hurt badly, and their little hearts just ache. Without being maudlin or minimizing the pain, this book offers hope. I get choked up just thinking about it, don’t you?

I respect author Beth Guckenberger a lot — she is a friend of a dear friend of ours, who says nothing but the best of her wisdom and compassion and missional energy. (Her new adult book is entitled Warrior of Eden: How Curiosity and Questions Lead to Understanding God’s Call for Women.) In this tender, teacherly new one, a heart is broken and needs to be cared for.

The heart was created whole, she writes, “Solid. Happy. Free.” She writes about an “enemy” that has bad plans for the heart, who whispers lies that hurt us.

As it says on the back, “The Heart Who Wanted to Be Whole leads children to hear, know, and speak God’s truths loud and clear. This powerful story will remind us that no matter how hurtful the enemy’s lies are, God’s Word is stronger and He can make us whole.”

Beth has loved children from around the world and has written several books. She serves with Back2Back Ministries (an international orphan care organization.) Artist Irina Mileo was born in Tuscany, where she “creates imaginative, colorful worlds for children, just like the worlds that so inspired her as a child.” Nice, eh?

I’m guessing this is for ages 4 – 8 and it “encourages children to hear and speak God’s truths loud and clear.”

Bless Our Pets: Poems of Gratitude for our Animals Friends poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illustrated by Lita Judge (Eerdmans) $18.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $15.19

If you have been around the world of children’s books for long (or if you like classic stuff) you may know the name of Lee Bennett Hopkins who lived from 1938 and died in 2019. He wrote and edited dozens of famous children’s books, and this may have been his last; kudos to Eerdmans for working with him in this honoring way. The brand new book is a collection of poems about various pets, one by Bennett Hopkins himself, and the others which he selected (including Lois Lowry and Rebecca Kai Doltish.)

The poems are said to be adorable and amusing and seem, perhaps, almost like prayers, as we give thanks for those who bark, purr, chitter, and slither.  Yep, there’s a snake and it is very cool.

The poems feature fourteen different animal companions, including a cat snoozing in her bed, a goldfish dancing in her bowl, and a gerbil nestling in an overall pocket. The artwork is absolutely lovely.

What Makes Us Human Victor D. O. Santos, illustrated by Anna Format (Eerdmans / UNESCO) $18.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $15.19

This is one of my favorite children’s picture books of the season, expertly done, creative, modern, a bit wild. The content is striking and even though it is not a direct study of the Biblical notion of the imago Dei, it is, nonetheless, asking one of the biggest questions humans can ask. (It was John Calvin who said the question about knowing God is deeply connected to the matter of knowing ourselves.) So this. Through God’s common grace for the common good, this kind of book may seem to some as secular, but with a bit of conversation, we can see that any child will learn much about the nature of we human beings.

What Makes Us Human is a project of UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) so is, as you’d expect, multi-ethnic and multi-cultural.

Some of the most renowned children’s writers and illustrators in the world have enthusiastic blurbs on the back, inviting us to consider this “riddle” which is full of “beautiful metaphors” and which can, in the words of Hyo-eun Kim (author of I Am the Subway) “open a vast window to understanding the world and ourselves.”

Here, by the way, is the answer this author gives and what the book is really about: language. Words. Stories. The power of human communication and our ability to connect is the glory of human language; however, some unique languages are fast disappearing. The allusive, creative questions asked with each interesting page are finally answered at the end and is then followed up with a good fact sheet as a word for older readers and parents and teachers to help explain the urgency of exploring the questions of human language, linguistics, and even endangered alphabets. Hooray for this.

Chasing God’s Glory Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young, illustrated by Alyssa De Asia (Waterbrook) $12.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $10.39

I may have highlighted this before as it is a lovely little book, great for ages 3 to 8, although the concept is one even adults should ponder. The primary girl in the book is Kayla and in the first pages she is waking up as her mama sings “Rise and shine, and give God the glory, glory” song that so many of us know. “Mama, what exactly is gory?” She asks.

The book follows the mom and her daughter as they discover that God’s glory is seen best in humans that are flourishing, in the beauty of the creation, in the goodness of the world as it was meant to be. Are there (in my words) signals of transcendence, rumors of glory, signs of life? You bet!  From sunrises to dancing, daffodils and green peppers to kind words and loving hugs all are reminders of God’s glory around us every day. Love it, love it, love it.

Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young is a self-described glory chaser, a storyteller and fine wordsmith. She writes for DaySpring’s (in)courage and has other books, podcasts and Bible studies. The illustrator, Ayssa De Asia is a Filipino designer based in Manila.

Song of the Seasons Glenys Nellist, illustrated by C. B. Canga (Paraclete Press) $17.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $14.39

I adore the penmanship and tender, warm, and gentle mysticism of author Glenys Nellist, who was born and raised in Northern England (but now lives in Michigan.) Her books have been acclaimed and celebrated. This new one is well written, a lovely reflection on the four passing seasons. As it says on the back, we are invited to “Join all of creation in a song of praise to our Creator through the unique beauty of every season of the year.”

The opening page starts:

The earth sings God a brand-new song

From grass to mountain peak.

And if you pause and close your eyes

You’ll hear the seasons speak.

I don’t think the cover art fully captures the striking visual energy of this book, which focuses less on the children and more on the majestic landscapes and pastoral settings that are beautifully shown. Some of the scenes are really quite striking and will be sure to captivate little ones.

The Apostle’s Creed for All God’s Children Ben Myers, illustrated by Natasha Kennedy (Lexham Books) $17.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $14.39

The Ten Commandments for All God’s Children Harold Senkbeil, illustrated by Natasha Kennedy (Lexham) $17.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $14.39

The Lord’s Prayer: For All God’s Children Harold Senkbeil, illustrated by Natasha Kennedy (Lexham) $17.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $14.39

At the start of this BookNotes list I suggested another FatCat Book, a line from Lexham that has this kitty (okay, a weighty feline) who shows up to guide the kid’s along the serious, good story. Besides the great Christmas and Easter titles, there are three others, children’s versions of the excellent, small hardbacks in their “Christian Essentials” series (such as Ben Myers’s The Apostles’ Creed: A Guide to the Ancient Catechism and Wes Hill’s The Lord’s Prayer: A Guide to Praying to Our Father.)

There is nothing like these on the market, as far as we know, and they are a perfect blend of whimsy and wonder, making them happily engaging, with exceptionally solid content and plenty of substance, making them very useful for ongoing Christian education and nurture; the stuff in the back for parents is very helpful. The art is fabulous, and the extra touches — full color flyleaves and such — make these delightful and lasting. Whether you realize these three topics were the basis of history catechism (see Luther, for instance) or not, we recommend them to you. Enjoy!

The Really Radical Book for Kids Champ Thornton, designed and illustrated by Scot McDonald (New Growth Press) $29.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $23.99

We have highlighted this before as a great book that will absorb your elementary age child for hours… it has lots of fun illustrations (art, graphics, photos, all on great sturdy paper) and is ideal for those who want just a little bit of goofy action with their Biblical learning. (The tag line is More Truth. More Fun.)

The first Radical Book for Kids was a blast and a big seller and this one is even better, with ideas about unusual foods to make, secret codes to break, fun crafts to try, and strange experiments. This helps kids encounter fresh ways to read the Bible and gives colorful pages full of “factual reasons to believe, stunning truths about God, and incredible examples of “radical” men and women who trusted Jesus in challenging times ” I’m suggesting ages 6 to 12, maybe. Scot McDonald is an award-winning graphic designer and his work makes this come alive.




It is helpful if you tell us how you want us to ship your orders.

The weight and destination of your package varies but you can use this as a quick, general guide:

There are generally two kinds of US Mail options and, of course, UPS.  If necessary, we can do overnight and other expedited methods, too. Just ask.

  • United States Postal Service has the option called “Media Mail” which is cheapest but can be a little slower. For one typical book, usually, it’s $4.33; 2 lbs would be $5.07. This is the cheapest method available and seems not to be too delayed.
  • United States Postal Service has another, quicker option called “Priority Mail” which is $8.70, if it fits in a flat-rate envelope. Many children’s books and some Bibles are oversized so that might take the next size up which is $9.50. “Priority Mail” gets much more attention than does “Media Mail” and is often just a few days to anywhere in the US.
  • UPS Ground is reliable but varies by weight and distance and may take longer than USPS. Sometimes they are cheaper than Priority. We’re happy to figure out your options for you once we know what you want.

If you just want to say “cheapest” that is fine. If you are eager and don’t want the slowest method, do say so. It really helps us serve you well so let us know.


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Hearts & Minds 234 East Main Street  Dallastown  PA  17313

Sadly, as of March 2024 we are still closed for in-store browsing. COVID is not fully over. Since few are reporting their illnesses anymore, it is tricky to know the reality but the best measurement is to check the waste water tables to see the amount of virus in the eco-system. It isn’t good. It is important to be aware of how risks we take might effect the public good — those at risk, while not dying from the virus, are experiencing long-term health consequences. (Just check the latest reports of the rise of heart attacks and diabetes among younger adults, caused by long Covid.) It is complicated, but we are still closed for in-store browsing due to our commitment to public health (and the safety of our family who live here, our staff, and customers.) Our store is a bit cramped without top-notch ventilation, so we are trying to be wise. Thanks very much for understanding. We know this is unusual, but it is our situation now.

We will keep you posted about our future plans… we are eager to reopen. Pray for us.

We are doing our curb-side and back yard customer service and can show any number of items to you if you call us from our back parking lot. It’s sort of fun, actually. We are eager to serve and grateful for your patience as we all work to mitigate the pandemic. We are very happy to help, so if you are in the area, do stop by. We love to see friends and customers.

We are happy to ship books anywhere. 

We are here 10:00 – 6:00 EST /  Monday – Saturday. Closed on Sunday.