With repetitive, child-friendly words that build into a sweet, simple retelling of one of the most loved stories of all time, Carol Wedeven creates a picture book perfect for any Easter basket. The author of nine children's books, including the classic Bible tales of Noah and Esther retold for first-time readers, Wedeven now turns to the most treasured Bible story of all, the resurrection.
Little tykes probably aren't ready for a graphically detailed version of Christ's death, and Wedeven's take on the timeless story celebrates without scaring. Titled The Easter Cave, she begins with a text from Matthew 27 that relates the kind act by the rich man of Arimathea who placed Jesus' body in his own new tomb. Matthew states that He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. From there, Wedeven launches the narrative with one simple, rhythmic sentence. This is the cave the friend gave. As you turn the pages, the story builds by adding a new phrase to the previous one. Line by line Wedeven tells the unforgettable story with a rhythmic, poetic feeling. The simple repetition walks you through the crucifixion and resurrection, telling the entire story with only 10 lines an impressive feat for such a tragic, passionate story.
Faced with the task of fleshing out the miniscule text, illustrator Len Ebert has created a warm landscape that expertly conveys the meanings and tone. Spring is on full display in his soft, inviting illustrations. On almost every page flowers are blooming, birds are singing and squirrels are listening to the good news of Christ's resurrection.
With so few lines and rhymes, you can't cover everything, and in this case, less attention is focused on Jesus' time spent on the cross. The text and art dwell more on the events before and after the crucifixion and on often-overlooked details like the crowing rooster, the women who found the empty tomb and the generosity of Joseph of Arimathea.
Ebert's warm illustrations make the timeless story accessible for young readers, and the simple, straightforward text makes it easy for youngsters to join in, interact and read along. A perfect introduction to the meaning and history of Easter.