Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Sunday, April 15, 2012


From my house to yours...

Christ is Risen!  Today in the Orthodox Church is Easter Sunday, otherwise known as "Pascha".

Cover art by Bonnie Gillis, from Pascha the Feast of Feasts, from
the Three-Day Pascha series by Mother Melania
(formerly Sister Elayne)

This beautiful little book is available here (can be ordered individually, or a set).
Life has blossomed forth from the tomb, creation is made new, the doors of the Kingdom are opened wide. So, the Resurrection is the core of the Christian Life. Only because Christ is risen can we forgive one another, be healed of all our diseases of soul and body, and rise to the Life God intends for us-His own Life, of which we can partake because Christ has fully partaken of our own.
A supplement to the series for children of the Twelve Great Feasts, this set uses simple verse and colorful illustrations to acquaint children with the themes and imagery of Holy Week.
About the author and illustrator:
Sister Elayne is a member of the community of St. Barbara Orthodox Monastery in Santa Barbara, California. Since the time she wrote this series of poems, she has been tonsured as a stavrophor nun, and has received a new name, Mother Melania.
Bonnie Gillis is an iconographer and illustrator. She recently moved to Langley, British Columbia (in Canada), where her husband, Father Michael, is pastor of a new Orthodox mission.


  1. It really bothers me how everyone is focusing on the Christian aspect of Easter, and it's practically impossible to find good children's books about the origin of the holiday.
    Easter was a spring festival, celebrated long before Jesus was born. Just the name; Easter is from the name Eostre, the goddess of spring. Rabits, bunnies and eggs are all symbols of her. But can you find any good children's book about that?

    1. I am focusing on the Christian aspect of Easter because I am a Christian. :)

      If you read my post about Pysanky Eggs, you would find that I adressed the origin of the tradition of eggs at Easter: "At one time, the egg was associated with pagan rituals and superstitions, symbolizing the release of the earth from the shackles of winter into spring; with its promise of new hope, new life, health and prosperity. In 988 AD when Ukraine accepted Christianity, the decorating of eggs took on a deep religious meaning. The PYSANKA commemorated the Resurrection of Christ, and a promise of eternal life. The pagan superstitions were replaced by religious beliefs and legends."

      As Orthodox Christians, we believe Christ came to redeem man so man can be united with God. Through man the whole creation can be made part of this union. My book recommendation today supports that belief, and I appreciate being allowed that freedom on my religious holiday.

      In respects to children's books about the pagan goddess, most children's books about Easter that I come across in bookstores and libraries are focused only on the pagan ritual of bunnies, candy, and the like. So I'm not sure why you would begrudge me searching for some books that reflect my Christian beliefs.

      Pagan Easter is alive and well in the world - yes you can find children's books aplenty reflecting that. I haven't heard of a children's book specifically about Eostre.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

    2. Umm... I wasn't begrudging you anything, nor was I criticizing your beliefs, so I wasn't expecting such a offensive reply.
      I was voicing my opinions. I'm an educated teacher and I've been working in a book store and a library for 2 years, and I have yet to find a children's book about Easter that doesn't focus on Christ.

      My apologies, I must have misunderstood the purpose of your blog. I was under the impression that this blog was a collection of book recommendation of children's books for teachers and parents, and not Christian propaganda.

    3. I am truly sorry if I missed the spirit and nature of your comment. You said you were "bothered by everyone focusing on the Christian aspect of Easter". That came across to me as being critical of my beliefs, since I am a Christian and this was my Easter Sunday post, highlighting a beautifully written and illustrated book celebrating a day that is very holy for us.

      If you are simply interested in finding a book about Eostre and are frustrated because there's not one out there, I can understand that. I haven't seen one either and wish you luck in your search.

      But I'm confused when you say you "have yet to find a children's book about Easter that doesn't focus on Christ". I was pointing out that though I have yet to see a book about Eostre and the origins of the holiday, there are library and bookstore shelves full of "rabbits, and bunnies and eggs", which as you say "are all symbols of her". In fact, I have done several posts featuring ducks and bunnies and chicks that are all about spring and Easter.

      I'm sorry that you see my blog only as Christian propaganda. I have a passion for good literature and hopefully my book recommendations reflect that. You can read my criteria for "good books" here: http://goodbooksforyoungsouls.blogspot.com/search/label/choosing%20good%20books

    4. I'm sorry, I got a bit defencive as well. I think it was the title "Christ is Risen!" That threw me off. I should probably mention that I'm not British or American, so the books that you are mentioning wouldn't be in a Norwegian book store and vice versa, and unlike you (assuming you are American, that is) we don't have a ceparation of state and church, and we don't have the first amendment, so in schools there is a lot of focus on the christian adoption of every holiday, while the origin of them is overlooked. That is what bothers me, and not your post in particular. I apologize if it came out as a critisism of your post or your faith, I was just trying to express my frustration with this concept in general.

  2. Christ is Risen! I ♥ your eggs...and you reminded me to get my wooden eggs out...on Bright Tuesday, I can't believe I forgot, I was focused on hard boiling eggs and baking I forgot about the rest...