At 19 months, S has more books on Christmas than he is months old. We have a nice stack of children’s Bibles, some lovely books on baptism, and a few assorted board books on religious themes (the 10 commandments, the Our Father, the Hail Mary).
But we don’t have a single book for him on Lent. Or Easter.
I realized this when someone asked me for a recommendation for a book on Lent and Easter for her 3-year old. She wanted something to explain the seasons to her daughter and talk about why we give things up during Lent. Great question, I thought. And I’m embarassed to say I don’t have a single answer for her. (Yet.)
Advent and Christmas are much simpler to explain to children and certainly easier to illustrate with pretty colors and smiling faces. They’re about a baby! A birthday! A family! Animals and shepherds and kings – things kids love!
But nailing an innocent man to a cross? Repentance and resurrection? No wonder Golden Books stick to Easter eggs and bunnies.
I know there must be good resources on Lent and Easter for the toddler set, and I’m hoping some of you will pass along ideas. I’ve heard of a Jesus Tree kit to walk children through the days of Lent with the stories and teachings of Jesus. But I’m still waiting for the time and inspiration to tackle the creation of our Jesse Tree, let alone take on another liturgical season.
But what kinds of books are out there? Or even educational toys? S is still obsessed with the plush Nativity set we have, and I can’t bring myself to put it away with the Christmas decorations when he gets such delight out of finding baby Jesus and putting him in his manger bed. But I feel my liturgy professors cringe every time he sets it up on our coffee table in mid-March.
I know he’s too young right now to grasp what Lent is about. But I’d love to find some good resources for down the road. Any suggestions?