Easter devotional: Why Easter?

The giveaway is now closed. Congratulations, Cathy!

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Compared to the proliferation of Christmas-themed titles, the availability of books about Easter is sparse. As we noted last year, many of them focus just on Passion Week or try to justify the use of eggs and bunnies as part of the celebration of the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ. There just isn’t much solid truth for Christian families to meditate upon during the weeks leading up to this very important holiday.

Barbara Reaoch addresses that void with her latest book Why Easter? It is a four-week family devotional guide including Scripture reading, exposition, truth to meditate upon, questions about the reading, memory verses, and a hymn of the week to learn. There is recommended discussion not only about the devotional, but also about phrases from the memory verses and hymns being learned. I appreciate Mrs. Reaoch’s thoughtful efforts to explain the significance of important events leading up to the Resurrection, beginning with the account of Mary, Martha and Lazarus and ending with Christ’s ascension.

This book would benefit from more professional illustration. To be honest, the pictures didn’t impress me (and I noticed two minor inaccuracies). A frustrating trend in Christian publishing is that the most wonderful Truth about God, shared in a way that is meaningful for children, is often not accompanied by more beautiful artwork. This may not bother some, but I do desire greater excellence in all aspects of Christian literature that is offered to our little ones.

However, because there are so few books that celebrate Easter in such depth, this is a helpful resource. It probably works best with ages ranging from 6 to 12, as participation and comprehension levels will vary. It would also be helpful to know that while three of the suggested hymns to learn are well known (“When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” “Man of Sorrows,” and “Up From the Grave He Arose”), the fourth was not familiar to me until I looked it up in a hymnbook. Those who use the red Trinity hymnal will have the words and music to “Thine Be the Glory.” For those who do not have that hymnal at home, the tune is “Maccabeus” and can be found online.

We have a giveaway!

Simply leave a comment below and you will be eligible to win a copy. Because Why Easter is a four-week study, the giveaway closes Wednesday the 26th at midnight so I can get the book in the mail quickly.

Thanks to the publisher who provided a copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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19 Responses to Easter devotional: Why Easter?

  1. Megan March 31, 2014 at 8:40 pm #

    George, I asked the publisher about the author’s last name, and it is pronounced REE-awk. Thanks for the inquiry!

  2. Brian March 26, 2014 at 10:43 pm #

    I’m so grateful for your site and the time you put into pointing us toward great and God-honoring literature for kids. Thank you!

  3. Elizabeth March 26, 2014 at 7:19 pm #

    Dear Megan,
    I really enjoyed your review of this book. Since I got out our meager collection of Easter books out just last week, having a good devotional for this time of year has been on my mind. The one solid one I do have contains weekly devotionals which are too lengthy for our family right now. I appreciate that Why Easter has more maneageble devotionals that can be understood by younger children.

  4. Michelle Lyons March 25, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

    I couldn’t agree more with your sentiments about art in children’s books. It would be so wonderful to see better quality illustrations in the Christian publishing world!

    I’d love to have a copy of the Easter devotional though!

  5. Stefannye March 25, 2014 at 12:03 pm #

    This seems like a neat book our family would enjoy!

  6. Kristy B March 25, 2014 at 10:37 am #

    We love this book and are about half way through. While we have a copy, dear friends roof ours do not and I would love to send them a copy!

  7. Nellie van der Hart March 25, 2014 at 8:29 am #

    We love to have a copy of this book! If we don’t win we might just have to buy a copy for ourselves.

  8. Megan March 25, 2014 at 6:37 am #

    Okay, in answer to my own question, how about FREE?! At http://www.hymnsforkids.com I found free downloads of all the sheet music for all four books, plus accompaniment tracks, sans singing. Thine Be the Glory is one of them. :-)

  9. Megan March 25, 2014 at 6:21 am #

    Thanks for the tip, Cathy! I wish Passion Hymns for a Kid’s Heart was in print. I’d love to review it and see it available for our readers. Anyone know where I can get a copy for less than $50?

  10. Cathy March 25, 2014 at 4:16 am #

    Thine Be the Glory is on the Passion Hymns for a Kids Heart CD, if you want a nice recording of it.
    Thanks for the book recommendation. We too are always looking for Easter books!

    I wish someone would take Nancy Guthrie’s Easter devotional book for adults and make a for-kids-too version to go with it.

  11. Meg VanderHart March 24, 2014 at 7:43 pm #

    Sounds like a worthy addition to a family collection. The fact that there are several “acticvities” with each devotional makes it useful as a tool for a few minutes at a couple of times in a day, in the morning with breakfast, and a review and discussion in the evening after supper or before bed. Thanks for helping us with our book/reading options. Well thought out!

  12. Tamra March 24, 2014 at 3:42 pm #

    I would LOVE an Easter devotional to use at this season of our family devotions!

  13. Megan March 24, 2014 at 1:53 pm #

    Thanks for all the great input! Yes George, the publishing house was one of the primary reasons I chose to review this book. And Shonna, thanks for the other leads. We’ll have to track those down.

  14. Shonna March 24, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

    You’re right. There aren’t as many books to choose from for Easter as there are for Christmas. I like the use of old hymns that my kids don’t hear very often. It adds to both their Bible knowledge and their Christian heritage. Others Easter books on my radar are: Amon’s Adventure by Arnold Ytreeide and Passion Hymns for a Kid’s Heart by Bobbie Wolgemuth and Joni Eareckson Tada.

  15. George March 24, 2014 at 1:06 pm #

    It must have taken a lot of reconnaissance to find this book. Thank you folks at Redeemed Reader for scouting this one out.

    Seeing which publishing house publishes this one (when I followed your link) confirmed beyond a shadow of a doubt that Why Easter? is worth acquiring and using.

    Can you guide us as to the pronunciation of the author’s unusual last name?

  16. Kimberly March 24, 2014 at 9:50 am #

    I love the idea of this book. I’ve always wanted to get my kids more engaged in the run-up to Easter, but have not known where to start.

  17. Megan L. March 24, 2014 at 8:14 am #

    I would like this book! Thank you!

  18. Emily March 24, 2014 at 7:41 am #

    Thank you so much for this review. Yes, our family struggles with finding resources for Easter as well. I can’t wait to see this book and imagine buying it as a gift for many that feel the same way.

  19. Joey E March 24, 2014 at 6:09 am #

    I’d like a copy!

    Thanks for your review. I also have issues with sub-standard artwork for “Christian” books.

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