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Michael Hague's Family Easter Treasury Hardcover – March 15, 1999
From timeless classics to new favorites, find children's books for every age and stage. See more
Like its sister holiday, Christmas, Easter has become a cultural event as well as a religious holiday. And because traditional Easter customs also represent pagan celebrations of spring and renewal, there is much information for children to digest this time of year. Recognizing and sorting these diverse and fascinating elements in an Easter anthology is quite an ambitious task. Fortunately, renowned illustrator Michael Hague (of The Velveteen Rabbit, The Teddy Bears' Picnic, and The Wizard of Oz) pulls it off with great success. In fact, there are three key reasons why this anthology will become a lifetime keeper. First, the anthology is sensibly divided into four sections: "A Time of Faith" speaks to spiritual belief in a time of death and darkness; "A Time of Rebirth" celebrates the themes of resurrection and renewal; "A Time of Celebration" explores the traditions of eggs, baskets, and bunnies; and "A Time of Love" glorifies nature's wonders and the renewal of a season. Second, the selections are exquisite, with beloved classics such as Oscar Wilde's "The Selfish Giant," William Blake's "Spring," and F.E. Corne's "Why the Easter Bunny Lays Eggs." Third, Hague's generous pastel-and-watercolor illustrations are child-pleasing and versatile--shadowy and somber as Mary mourns the death of her son, and joyfully sunny for stories such as "The Boy Who Discovered Spring." This fine treasury is a wonderful resource for any family that celebrates Easter. (All ages) --Gail Hudson
From Publishers Weekly
The miracle of Easter remains one of the most difficult religious observances to explain to children. But Hague (The Teddy Bears' Picnic) admirably takes on the task with this well-rounded collection of Biblical passages, stories and poems focusing on the sacred as well as secular aspects of the spring holiday. Hague's approach is four-pronged, beginning with a section entitled "A Time of Faith," followed by "A Time of Rebirth," "A Time of Celebration" and "A Time of Love." Each section opens with a passage from the Gospels of Mark, Luke, John and Matthew as they appear in the King James Bible. Though there is often little distinction between the sections' themes, the first two focus primarily on rebirth after death, employing Bible stories of Jesus' Resurrection as well as texts which highlight the new life of the spring following the dead time of winter. Among the highlights are "The Selfish Giant" by Oscar Wilde, "The Waking Year" by Emily Dickinson and "Spring" by William Blake. In the thorough and fascinating "In the Easter Basket," (part of "A Time of Celebration"), Elizabeth Hough Sechrist explains variations on the traditions of dyed Easter eggs, Easter baskets and the Easter Bunny from around the world. And in "A Time of Love," Hague again pays homage to the wonders of spring. His pastel-and-watercolor artwork spans the ages, from Biblical to modern times, using images holy, fantastic and ordinary. From sweeping spreads to borders and small spots, Hague gives each text entry a style and flavor all its own, yet his consistent palette unifies the volume as a whole. A compendium families will revisit year after year. All ages.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
What really got my attention was the table of contents. The book is divided into four sections, each one starting with one of the four resurrection accounts (note: the "sacred art" is not that great on some of the pictures - a little scary!). Then there are stories, hymns and poems grouped according to four themes: "A Time of Faith," "...Rebirth", "...Celebration," and "...Love."Stories include "The Selfish Giant" by Oscar Wilde, "The Maid of Emmaus," "The Boy Who Discovered Spring," "Why The Easter Bunny Lays Eggs," "Bramble and Buckwheat' by Ethel Pochocki (note: who also wrote "Once Upon A Time Saints," a book we had growing up), "The White Blackbird" by Padraic Colum (great author), and "The Rat-Catcher's Daughter." Lots of poems by William Blake, Rossetti, Hopkins, and Aileen Fisher. Well, I bought the book this Christmas...I remembered to bring it out this Easter. It's about the size of a kid's picture book, but thicker (133 pp), and the cover is beautiful! So are the title pages and contents. We started reading it on Easter afternoon (I always cry at "The Selfish Giant's" ending...note: my kids (age 7-down) really liked the "Selfish Giant!") I really liked the hymns and poems. And most of the illustrations were really good (like I said, the resurrection ones weren't that great). The kids have been looking through it over and over. Even though they can't read the stories, they love the pictures. Oh, there's also a section on Easter customs from around the world that I look forward to reading.
So we'll be looking forward to bringing out this book in our home as an Easter tradition, and I recommend it for other families who are in the market for the same kind of book.