My babies are getting older and bigger. They are harder to pick up and carry any distance now. They come home from school telling me facts about things, real facts, not just made-up mumbo-jumbo, like they once told me. They are growing up. Most of the time I am thrilled with the growing up phenomenon, but today I felt myself saddened in an unanticipated way by it. I went upstairs to turn the light off in the boys’ bedroom and looked at the bookshelf and it dawned on me, no one has asked to read our Easter holiday stories yet.
Bear with me; I know this is a little silly but still very true. Last week was Spring Break here and my #1, aka my 2nd grader powered his way through six chapter books reading independently to his heart’s content. My #2, aka my 1st grader and I read some Magic Tree House beginner chapter books together, following the trials of Jack and Annie through time. I love, love, love that my boys are reading and “devouring” harder, longer books. It could not please me more. But my heart and my head mourn the picture storybooks we use to sit and read together. Every holiday of my life my mother gifted a children’s book to me, even when I was in my twenties and childless. I can’t imagine a holiday without picture books.
So I’ve broken the Easter books out to read this week. Out of the bookshelf and in a pile on the table marked “to be read”. If you celebrate the holiday, some of our favorite classic and not-so-classic tales include:
- Jan Brett’s The Easter Egg, with gorgeous colorful illustrations my boys and I can get lost in the artwork on every page. The heartfelt message of Hoppi’s selfless act and the Easter Bunny’s recognition of that act are a message I hope my boys take to heart as they grow.
- Little Bunny Foo Foo (the real story) by Cori Doerrfeld, is my #1’s favorite non-Easter book we keep with the Easter stories. This book brings pictures to the song we’ve all heard many a time and through the illustrations helps us understand how misunderstood poor little Bunny Foo Foo really was. I love that young readers can discover how pictures and words don’t always tell the same story.
- Piggy Bunny by Rachel Vail tells the story of Liam, who is just like all the other piglets except for one thing; he wants to be the Easter Bunny when he grows up. Such great lessons of being true to yourself, loving someone for who they are, how awesome grandparents are, and the need to practice. My #2 will tell me how this book always makes him smile at the end. He might not know why it makes him smile, but it is high praise for the story to invoke the emotion.
- I’m a sucker for Lucille Colandro’s There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed books, I buy each one I come across, so of course we have to read There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Chick! The rhyming cadence is great for young readers to build their sight words and reading confidence as they predict what’s going to happen next in the familiar tale. My boys may roll their eyes at me, but they still are always eager to read these books to me. These are the first books my boys started “reading with expression” to me – so precious.
These storybooks along with classic tales like Beatrix Potter’s stories of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny will be read this week in addition to our chapter books, because you are never too old or too big to enjoy a good storybook. Happy reading!
Disclaimer: This post reflects only the opinion of the writer. No one was solicited or compensated in any way for this expression of opinion on these books.