Easter for many people will arrive on April 5th and those of us who will be observing the traditional holiday may also be dealing with the Easter Bunny tradition. For those of any religious persuasion who would like to understand the religious significance, a reading of Gail Gibbons's Easter would be in order.
Easter is a very simple nonfiction book about the origins of Easter. The text focuses on the basic history of the Christian holiday but includes
the origins of more secular holiday traditions like Easter Eggs and the
name of the holiday coming from Eostre, the pagan goddess of Spring.
Easter does signify the coming of Spring and new life, both in the animal and plant world. It is the day for daffodils, and spring flowers.
The tradition of the Easter Bunny seems most prevalent in the secular celebration of Easter and it has long been a mystery as to how a bunny came to deliver colored eggs to all the little children at Easter time -- painted eggs and chocolates delivered in a basket. Katherine Tegan has written a story that explains how that came to be and leaves young readers with a vision of rabbits in a hollow tree weaving baskets, coloring eggs, and pouring chocolate into egg molds. A most delightful book.
These are among the books that are just right for sharing during those 20 minute a day read aloud times. Whether or not your children are reading on their own, only reading aloud to them will stretch their vocabulary above where they are at, at the moment, help to build a schematic background with new information, build attention span, and in general build a love of books and learning. Read aloud to your children EVERY day.
Gibbons, Gail. (1991) Easter. Holiday House.
Tegan, Katherine. (2005) The Story of the Easter Bunny. Illustrations by Sally Anne Lambert. HarperCollins.