Author: Brian Wildsmith
Illustrations: Brian Wildsmith
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Age Range: 5 – 8
This book was first published in 1993 by seasoned author and illustrator Brian Wildsmith. It has been re-released a number of times and is considered a classic Easter book for children. The standout feature of this book is, of course, the glorious artwork. Every page is a surprise and a delight to regard. It is hard to characterize the style of art – bright, detailed, different hues merge together across the page. Gold iridescence is used in the printing to produce stunning affects on just about every page.
Every review I’ve read raves about the artwork. And I certainly appreciate the unique and visual impact that the artwork contributes to this book. But personally, I found the illustrations too busy at times. I wondered if younger readers would really be able to take in the story or make sense of several of the illustrations. There is certainly plenty to talk about with regard to the artwork alone.
In contrast to the elaborate art used throughout the book, the text is very simple and straightforward. It tells the bare facts of the story. A donkey is included in the story, but I felt that the character of the donkey was not really developed or needed. From a Catholic perspective I liked that the institution of the Eucharist is provided in detail with Jesus’ words being included in the text. The gory details of the passion are not recorded, but Jesus is seen on the cross from a distance with Angels surrounding Him in the sky.
The story continues through unto the Ascension. The text is brief and simple to read. This would be a great read aloud book to share with your children, grandchildren or classroom, although it would be hard for children to see the details of the illustrations from a distance.
Reviewers have spoken of how this Easter Story has inspired many artworks from children and it is certainly something I would have used in homeschool. I could imagine children designing various outfits for Angels and even designing the patterned coats that are thrown down to make a path for Jesus as He enters Jerusalem.
There are not many quality Easter story books on the market for children, particularly from a Catholic perspective. This is a great publication, and I can recommend it to you. It is simple to read. The artwork will provide plenty of scope for conversation and inspire children to create their own similar art pieces.
You can see a reading of The Easter Story HERE
You can purchase The Easter Story HERE