Using the New Testament Gospels, Lauren Thompson retells the miracle of Easter and the events in Jesus' life leading up to that time. Her book is a basic introduction to understanding the good news of Jesus. Simple words and a powerful message are surrounded by double page illustrations of oil paintings in jewel-tone colors. The pictures parallel the intensity of Easter and tell the story beautifully.
Thompson begins, Once there lived a man named Jesus. His message of God's love, forgiveness, and hope are revealed in the life he shared with his followers. These followers provide an interplay with Jesus that helps us see Jesus' message to the world as it is both received and misunderstood, even (initially) by his disciples.
When Jesus and his followers enter Jerusalem, Jesus is cheered as a king and hero. The priests find his words disconcerting, however. As Jesus' power grows, a plot shapes to discredit and kill him.
When soldiers arrive to arrest Jesus, his disciples scatter in fear; accusations and questioning follow. Eventually, Jesus is crucified and his body is sealed in a donated tomb.
The remaining pages reveal the joy of Jesus' followers when they discover he is alive. His grieving followers are given incredible forgiveness and peace. His death and resurrection bring light to their confusion and victory to their lives. He instructs them to love as he has loved. Thompson's book does not focus on the painful portions detailing the time of crucifixion, which is a consideration when sharing the Easter story with children. Love One Another is also a good choice for those who know nothing of Easter, or those needing a clear explanation of the latter life of Jesus on earth.
Jana Benjamin, M. Div., writes from her home in Tullahoma, Tennessee.
Other Easter BooksÂ¥ The Thornbush, by Michael Laughlin (Tommy Nelson, $12.99, 0849959683), tells the story from the perspective of the prickly plant that would ultimately provide the branches that made the crown of thorns.
Â¥ Hide-and-Seek Peter Cottontail, by David Crossley (Little Simon, $5.99, 0689833237), a delightful board book for the younger set, includes a bunny that bounces by pulling a string.
Â¥ The Easter Story, by Brian Wildsmith (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, $18, 0802851894) reissued and features Wildsmith's paintings accented with gold-tone.
Â¥ The Golden Egg, illustrated by Maggie Kneen (Chronicle Books, $14.95, 0811828379) a delightful, rhyming romp of hide-and-seek as Little Duck searches for a very special egg.