The Real Easter Story is so special. I don’t think we truly grasp just how privileged we are, to have such free access to forgiveness and love. And if we as adults struggle with wrapping our minds around it, then we need to think about our kids.
The meaning of Easter for kids can be overwhelming. But, between the ages of 4-14, they are far more likely to understand and accept the truth, and run with it their whole lives, than if we wait until “they’re old enough to understand” or some such sentiment.
That is exactly why I love these Easter story books we’re going to talk about today. They do a beautiful job and would be an excellent addition to any child’s library (or Church/Public Library!!)
Please note that this post contains affiliate links for your convenience. If you make a purchase through one of the links, I may make a small commission. I only recommend books and resources that I’ve enjoyed personally, or believe that you would like. You can read my full disclosure here. You will also find information on Scripture translations there.
The Real Easter Story Explained
Surrounded by Easter bunnies and chocolate eggs, it’s easy to get confused these days. Christmas and Valentine stuff is just barely being tucked away and there are all kinds of Easter stuff Everywhere. And if we’re not careful, the Real Easter story can get lost in the shuffle.
But the truth is, Jesus came to earth, lived a sinless life while dealing with some pretty tough stuff, then joyfully! took our punishment so we could be reconciled to him.
*Here are some of the Best Christmas Stories for Kids that inspire faith.
The Meaning of Easter For Kids
The meaning of Easter for kids doesn’t have to be super complicated or graphic. They do need to understand the 3 steps of salvation (namely 1. Admitting to the fact that they are sinners, 2. Believing the fact that Jesus is The Only Answer, and 3. Committing their life to follow Him).
They do need to learn about the fact that Jesus took the punishment they (we all) deserved. And the amazing privileges and responsibilities we have as followers of Jesus.
How to Explain Easter to a Child Who is Full of Questions
Wondering How to explain Easter to a child? Especially the kind who ask questions 24/7? Maybe your family just became Christians or adopted a child who didn’t grow up in a Christian environment, and you’re concerned over the best method for how to explain Easter to a child in your care.
Or maybe your children who have been raised in the Word, are reaching the age of accountability, and are far more aware this year than they have been for the past few years, and it’s time to go deeper with the Real Easter story.
Teach The Real Easter Story Through Easter Story Books!
When you’re stuck (or not), Books are always my answer. Teaching the meaning of Easter for kids is no exception.
*If you are looking for complete Bible Storybooks, here are some of my favorites.
Easter Story Books for Preschoolers
An Easter Prayer by Amy Parker is a beautifully illustrated, rhyming prayer. A sturdy board book, this is part of a fun series (we also have Fall and Valentines) of prayers for little ones that draw their attention to the wonder of creation, and gratitude, and God’s Love.
Really Woolly God Made Spring is another great board book with touch and feel elements. It points to many signs of ‘new life’ in springtime, and while it doesn’t directly discuss Easter, it does have scripture and gives glory to God. (And it’s part of an excellent series that does cover the real Christmas and Easter stories)
The Story of Easter by Patricia A. Pingry is a simple picture book with few words, beautiful illustrations, and a simple storyline that covers spring, history, and modern traditions.
Easter Story Books for Elementary Students
Once The kids have reached Elementary age, it’s time for more depth, when exploring the real Easter story. This year we read a book on Passover to get us started.
The Real Easter Story Begins with Passover
The Story of Passover, by David A. Adler is a great narrative. While it leaves a little out, it covers plenty, beginning with Moses’ birth through the first Passover and the escape through the Red Sea.
It does an excellent job with the story of Passover, and *word of caution, it did make my sensitive 6yo cry. Nothing over the top, but it doesn’t shy away from the tough stuff.
I would recommend it for sure, but be prepared, especially if you have a new(ish) baby brother in the house, because when Pharaoh orders the babies killed, your kids might imagine what it was like to have lost their little brother and whether they might have tried to fight off the soldiers.
Easter Story Books With Depth: How to Explain Easter to a Child
Now, if you want to go deep into the Real Easter story with your kids, these next couple of Easter story books were just released, and definitely cover more ground than many.
*I received both of them through NetGalley, and chose to share them here. All thoughts are my own.
On That Easter Morning by Elena Pasquali is beautiful, with very engaging illustrations. As far as Easter story books go, this one goes into far more detail, and covers more events than most.
If you want to know how to explain Easter to a child, this is an excellent book to start with. The pacing is awesome. It doesn’t race through or skip major events. It also doesn’t drag or get graphic.
The real Easter story is shared, with a few passages simplified for kids. Jesus in the garden, praying, says “Yet it is not what I want that must be done, but what You want.” which is more understandable than “Not My will but Yours” is. They both may say/mean the same thing, so the phrasing just makes it a little more approachable.
I like that Peter’s betrayal is given space, as well as his conversation with Jesus after the resurrection, proving that there’s hope for us when we sin.
Most Elementary age kids would benefit from reading this storybook of the Real Easter story. It does a solid job of exploring the meaning of Easter for kids.
Jesus Rose for Me by Jared Kennedy is another one of those Solid Easter Story books that’s well suited for teaching the meaning of Easter for kids.
This is a little simpler than the one above, but still solid. It covers a few details that are skipped in that one also, which is cool. I love how we can have many Easter story books and, just like the original Gospels, focus on something different, for a different but similar purpose!
Its 4 ‘chapters’ each begin with a little flag with scripture references, which is awesome for further study. Each section also ends with a question and answer to think about.
I think this is an excellent answer to how to explain Easter to a child age 4-7ish. It is specific, brief, and hits the important points.
Easter Story Books: Animal Style
The Donkey’s Easter Tale is a fun story from the perspective of the donkey who carried Jesus on Palm Sunday, who just happens to be the grandson of the donkey who carried Mary to Bethlehem… It’s cute but still tells the real Easter story accurately and with depth.
The donkey observes a lot of the events of Holy Week, and wonders about them. His wonderings would match most kids’ questions, and it explores the meaning of Easter for kids to follow. It’s a bit longer, more of a 10-15 minute read, and beautifully illustrated!
The Berenstain Bears and the Easter Story by Jan and Mike Berenstain, as usual, nails the real Easter story. The cubs learn that there is way more Easter than candy, but that it’s okay to enjoy the Jelly Beans too. The copy we have even has stickers!
Easter Bunny, Are You for Real? does an amazing job. Take some confused kids and demystify the traditions of Easter that seem to have nothing to do with Jesus. Topics include Spring, Easter Eggs, Bunnies, Lent… Even Easter Sunrise, which I thought was cool, since I’ve attended more than one “Sunrise Service” in my life, but didn’t realize this bit.
The Real Easter Story in Legends and Parables
There are some beautiful legends and parables out there. Traditions we may know part of, but not really understand. This is another opportunity to learn for ourselves WHILE teaching the meaning of Easter for kids. Here are a couple of these, beautifully unwrapped for kids of all ages.
The Legend of the Sand Dollar: An Inspirational Story of Hope for Easter by Chris Auger is great! The setup is a little girl sad to be away from her parents for a couple of days, but then her cousin takes her out on a boat. They stop by an island, and he shows her all about the Sand Dollar, and how it tells the real Easter Story. It made me want to go looking for Sand Dollars!,
*If you would like to understand some popular Christmas legends through storybooks, click here! (Christmas Tree, Candy Cane, etc)
The Parable of the Lily by Liz Curtis Higgs is worthy of the Gold Medallion Book Award it received! At first, you may not understand how it has anything to do with Easter, or evangelism, or anything of the like. but by the last couple of pages, wow! Picture Jesus as the farmer, and yourself as the little girl, and if there’s any softness in your heart, you’ll probably shed a tear or two. It’s a powerful illustration of the real Easter story!
The Real Easter Story for Teens
The Real Easter Story for Grown-ups:
By all means, we should read the Real Easter story directly from the Bible. Kids need to know they are not ‘too young to come to Jesus, read the Bible, go to “big church“‘ etc.
But I will say, Easter story books, and other (Quality) Bible story picture books are written to specifically engage kids where they are, and have many benefits that help kids retain the stories.
Tell me, when it comes to telling the real Easter story, what are your favorite tools and resources to explain the meaning of Easter for kids?