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Best Children's Easter Books-How to Delight Children of All Ages

Updated on October 15, 2011

Books are a wonderful gift to give at Easter, whether you read a story before the actual holiday, or add one to a child’s Easter basket. Here are a few classics I loved reading to my children when they were young.  Now my daughters read them to their children


The Tale of Peter Rabbit

Helen Beatrix Potter first wrote the story of Peter Rabbit as a letter to the son of her past governess.  The letter and pictures intrigued Annie Carter Moore who encouraged Beatrix to publish it.  In 1901 she added to the story and it was published in 1902.  It is a classic story of what happens when a curious bunny is tempted by a garden of delicious vegetables, despite Mother’s warning to avoid Mr. McGregor, the farmer.  Children of all ages delight in bad bunny, Peter, and the fix he gets himself into.

Guess How Much I Love You

Sam McBratney resides in Northern Ireland and was a former teacher who enjoyed telling stories. In this sweet story about the love between parent and child, Little Nutbrown Hare challenges Big Nutbrown Hare to a game of ‘Guess how much I love you’. Whatever Little Nutbrown Hare says Big Nutbrown Hare can top until Little Nutbrown Hare decides his love is “all the way to the moon”. As he goes to bed he misses Big Nutbrown Hare’s final response, and falls asleep believing he is the winner of the contest.

The Runaway Bunny

First published in 1942, Margaret Wise Brown’s story of a mother’s reassurance has continued to stay the course through generations.  Children never tire of hearing to what extreme a mother would go through in order to ‘find’ her little one; and parents never tire of reading this story to them.  Little Bunny begins the adventure by announcing to his mother that he intends to runaway.  But, no matter what Little Bunny says he will do, Mother counters with telling him how she would bring him back.  The story, with the colorful illustrations, is sure to please readers of all ages.

The Velveteen Rabbit

This story, more than any of the other ones reviewed here, is the most symbolic of the story of Easter. It is the story of how a young boy’s love for his toy bunny transforms him to ‘a new life’. The Velveteen Rabbit originally came to the Boy as a Christmas present. Initially delighted, he was then put on the cupboard shelf until the Boy could not find his favorite toy. When Rabbit is pulled from the cupboard he quickly becomes the Boy’s favorite and they are inseparable. And, when the Boy becomes gravely ill from scarlet fever it is only his bunny that brings him comfort. When he becomes well again his beloved Rabbit must burn along with the clothes and linens, due to the high level of contamination. What happens to the Velveteen Rabbit in the end is the beautiful surprise. It is a story of unconditional love and inspiration.


The Easter Egg

Jan Brett, children’s author and illustrator, is the recipient of many awards. Her stories are filled with beautiful detail and colorful borders. Many of her stories take the reader to foreign lands, introducing them to animals and people of different cultures. The Easter Egg was published in 2010 and stayed #1 on the New York Children’s Picture Book Best Seller List for five weeks.

Like all good stories, Jan’s Easter story has a hero, ‘Hoppi’, and Hoppi’s problem is his attempts to win the Easter Egg decorating contest, because the winner gets to help the Easter Bunny hide the Easter eggs. This story is pure Jan Brett enchantment.

Jan Brett, Author of The Easter Egg


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