For Christians, Easter is a time when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. One way that we can teach children about the death and resurrection of Jesus is through Easter books. Though the following picture book Bunny’s First Spring from best-selling author Sally Lloyd-Jones doesn’t contain an overly gospel message, nor is it the Easter story explaining how Jesus was nailed to a cross, it does open the door to explain to young children that Jesus died and it was very sad, but then he came back to prove that he was God’s son and show us that there could be life after death.
Bunny’s First Spring by Sally Lloyd-Jones tells the story of a bunny’s first year of life as he observes the world around him and the changing seasons.
His life begins in the spring, with Sally painting a beautiful picture of new life and growth. The bunny observes the beauty of the natural world growing strong and producing fruit, vegetables, and flowers as he grows and changes with the changing season.
With Autumn, we see the young bunny struggle to understand the changes of the season that are now all around him. When the Apple tree drops all of her leaves, the bunny assumes she is sick. With so many questions his parents calmly tell him to wait and see.
He observes the onset of winter with fear. At this point, words of hope for a new spring come for the bunny, but the bunny does not hear them. He just wants his mommy. He runs into the burrow for a long winters nap.
As hints of the coming spring begin to appear, the bunny emerges from the burrow to observe proof of Spring- the season of rebirth. He joyously celebrates the spring, taking in the beauty of new life once again.
On the very last page “Sally Lloyd-Jones” concludes Bunny’s First Spring with words of inspiration: “God has written the promise of new life not just in books alone—but in every leaf in Springtime” (from Martin Luther).
Not only did the words flow well and rhythmically in the story, but they were written in short sentences and prose, making the book very suitable for early readers. David Mcphail’s illustrations are incredibly detailed; your child will be fascinated even if the story is longer than his/her attention span.
While my daughter is till too young to understand the message in the book, she enjoyed looking at the different pictures, asking what each picture was and having me read the story to her.
Overall, this book is just too beautiful to not recommend to parents. The author writes a remarkable story of life, death, and renewal. I think this story open up the opportunity for parents to talk to children about the changing seasons, and the true meaning of Easter.
Bunny’s First Spring is available now in hardcover for $15.99 at retailers nationwide and online.
About the Author: Sally Lloyd-Jones is a leading writer of inspirational books for children. She is the author of three bestselling children’s Bibles, including the Gold Book Award-winning Baby’s First Bible and, most recently, the Moonbeam Award Winner and ALA notable, The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name. She has written many picture books for children, including the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller How to Be a Baby: By Me, the Big Sister. Sally was born and raised in Africa, was schooled in England, and now lives in New York City. She can be found at www.sallylloyd-jones.com.
About the Illustrator: David McPhail has been drawing (like most kids), since he was two. He’s still at it! David has written and illustrated more than fifty books for children.