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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Berenstain Bears' Easter Blessings -- A First Look Review

Disclosure: I was sent this book to review free of charge from Worthy Ideals. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

What is Easter about for your kids? Is it about the candy, the egg hunt and the Easter basket? Or do they get the amazing blessing Easter really is for us? Do we really get that? 

Candy eggs in an Easter basket
Easter Basket By Gandydancer (Own work) 
[CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
What child would not get excited to find a basket full of candies and toys. Look at the photo above. However it is why we do the baskets and celebrate Easter that really matters and needs to be conveyed to them. Today's book is the perfect simple book to do this. The Berenstain Bears' Easter Blessings by Mike Berenstain is a board book. Sister, Brother, and Honey Bear are excited to see the goodies their grandparents bring over and want to get into the treats before going to church on Easter morning. But Gramps and Gran with the help from Mama and Papa Bear help the cubs see the blessings all around them and then at church Preacher Brown reminds them of the greatest blessing of all -- the Lord Christ is risen!!

http://www.christianbook.com/berenstain-bears-easter-blessings-board-book/mike-berenstain/9780824919672/pd/919672?product_redirect=1&Ntt=919672&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCP

Easter Blessings Activity

A great activity to go with this book is to make an Easter Blessings Tree. I used a small fake tree I bought ages ago. It came with sparkly Easter egg ornaments.

 Instead of putting the ornaments on the branches I cut strips of spring colored paper and wrote a blessing on each one. (I just thought of this activity so I can't wait to have Hazel home from school so she can add her blessings to it as well.) The goal will be to try to come up with at least one blessing each day and of course on Easter morning adding that Christ has risen. It is similar to the Lenten Tree Activity I posted about when Hazel was younger. Any tree shape can work or a branch secured in a pot or vase. What are your Easter blessings this year?

Some Easter Tradition History

Did you know the Easter basket comes from German folklore of the Easter hare? Apparently it is said that a white hare would leave baskets full of candy and eggs and other goodies for kids on Easter morning. (Source)  A Polish legend tells the story of how Mary Magdalene went to Jesus' tomb with a covered basket of white eggs and when she uncovered them they were colored in the colors of the rainbow. Another legend tells how Mary Magdalene went to Caesar and told him about the resurrection of Jesus and picked up a hen's egg from the dinner table. Caesar was so unmoved he said it was impossible as it would be for the egg to be red. The egg turned red in her hands. (Source) In other countries it is not the Easter Bunny who brings the treats. The Swiss children say it is a cuckoo, the Czech children believe it is a lark, and German children believe it is a rooster, a stork, a fox or a bunny. (Source) In Australia it is a bilby or a bunny. (Source)