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The Very First Easter Paperback – January 31, 2004

4.2 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dr. Paul Maier is a professor of ancient history at Western Michigan University. He holds degrees from Harvard University and Concordia Seminary. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including Pontius Pilate.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Concordia Publishing House (January 31, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0758606273
  • ISBN-13: 978-0758606273
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I got this book to better explain to the kids the true meaning of Easter, something desparately needed in our culture of giant, chocolate-bearing bunnies. This book was an excellent idea in theory, but (unpopular opinion as I know it will be) the writing was just plain lame. Why does everything have to be "cool" when it's written for children. Ok, Christopher may have had a few good questions, but he also says, "ewwww," when Judas kissed Jesus. For this point alone I would have chosen not to read it to my boys - I don't want them thinking that there's anything wrong with 2 people kissing out of love and friendship, 2 men or otherwise and yes, even today (ok, I realize that's not why Judas did it, but that's beside the point).

But there's more: The story starts out that little Chrissy doesn't want anything but "true" stories anymore. No more fairy tales for him. Again, why would I want to even introduce an idea as ridiculous as this - I want my boys reading and enjoying fiction for the rest of their lives and refuse to plant a dangerous idea like this into their heads.

Overall, I found the text patronizing to children and chose not to read it at all to them. Granted the artwork was beautiful, but not worth the risk of putting drivel in front of my boys. (The artwork and the idea are what got the 3 stars.) We just went right to the bible and told the story and answered questions from there.
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Format: Hardcover
This book follows the same format as Paul Maier's companion book, The Very First Christmas. Maier embeds the story of the first Easter inside the story of a 10-year-old boy named Christopher, who lives with his mother and father, a forest ranger, in a remote area of America's western mountains. As Christopher and his parents are sitting around the table dying Easter eggs, Christopher wonders aloud what the true story of Easter is. His Dad picks up the Bible and the two of them begin to read aloud from the book of Luke.
The narrative follows their discussion as they read, with Christopher asking questions that any child might typically ask -- "How do we know Jesus was really God?" "Why did they hang people on crosses, Dad?" "But if Jesus had a solid body and wasn't a ghost, how did he get through the walls?" Maier's format works well in this setting. Quotations from Luke tell the story, but the discussion between Christopher and his Dad explain the Easter story in a way that seems natural and easy to understand.
While the text of this book is quite good, what makes this book a excellent addition to the Easter collection is the outstanding artwork of Francisco Ordaz. Beautiful, full page pictures take up the right hand side of each spread. These realistic and detailed illustrations do a superb job of furthering the viewer's understanding of the Easter story. Especially well done is a portrayal of Jesus praying in the garden of Gethsemane and an illustration showing the women standing in amazement before the empty tomb. The Very First Easter is an wonderful book to share with a child, or anyone, who wonders what more there is to Easter than bunnies and painted eggs.
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Format: Hardcover
This re-telling of the biblical story of Easter gives a kid-friendly explanation of Christ's death and resurrection for today's child. What truly makes this book captivating, though, is the outstanding and gorgeous artwork. The only thing I found disappointing is the inclusion of a "Christian-ese" term which will be confusing to children not from specifically evangelical families (at one point in the story the main character, a young boy, and his family sit down for "daily devotions" -- a term and concept which is not commonly used and/or practiced in all Christian households). Despite that minor disappointment, I strongly recommend this book for *anyone* who wants to explain the spiritual aspects of Easter to children.
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By A Customer on April 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I was looking for a "real" Easter book for the kids. Found The Very First Easter by Paul L. Maier. I can't tell you how much my girls LOVE this book. The format is a Mom and Dad telling their son about Easter based on scripture. Both the writing and the illustrations are just excellent!!!
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By A Customer on March 24, 2001
Format: Hardcover
An absolutely spectacular book. The illustrations were just beautiful and the story is a lovely kid-friendly way to explain the sacrifice made by Christ. ...I have no problem with "devotions", you can easily translate this to whatever word you use in your household whether it be prayer, study, meditation on God's word, etc. I think it's used as an all purpose term for reflection on God's word, easily translated to whatever the individual family uses in the home. It's terribly sad someone would call the use of such thing dissappointing. This is really a time when Christians need to come together and not be divided over our different doctrines and wording.
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Format: Paperback
Impressively enhanced with museum quality artwork by Francisco Ordaz, The Very First Easter by Paul L. Maier has as its principle focus the story of Easter and the trial, death, and resurrection of Jesus. God's plan for the salvation of mankind through Jesus Christ is showcased in a perfect picture book format for young readers. Winner of The Gold Medallion Book Award, The Very First Easter is ideal as a memorable parent-child bonding experience within the framework of an Easter celebration in Christian homes and communities.
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