12 Best Easter Picture Books

Girl with bunny mask with a picture book in her lap
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There are many Easter books for children of all ages available at libraries and bookstores, and these children's picture books about Holy Week, Easter customs, and the Easter Bunny are suitable for a range of ages, from very young children to age 10 and up. In terms of both text and illustrations, the following titles are among the best. Several of these children's Easter books have become holiday classics.

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Easter - The King James Version with Pictures by Jan Pieńkowski

From the book's gold-incised, textured blue cover with artwork featuring Jan Pieńkowski's cut-paper black silhouette figures to the interior artwork, Easter is a beautifully designed and illustrated book that the entire family will appreciate. The text of the book is from the accounts of Holy Week and Easter that can be found in the King James version of the Bible in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

You may be familiar with Jan Pieńkowski's other book, a striking 3-D pop-up carousel Christmas book. It's not surprising that Pieńkowski has twice won the Greenaway Medal for illustration. (Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children's Books, originally published in 1989; this edition 2015. ISBN: 9780385392778)

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The Easter Egg by Jan Brett

Jan Brett is the author and illustrator of The Easter Egg.  Brett is known for her appealing animals and illustrations on double-page spreads that have borders with additional artwork that helps tell the story. In this case, the story revolves around Hoppi, a little bunny who wants to create the best decorated Easter Egg and win the chance to accompany the Easter Rabbit as he hides Easter eggs on Easter morning. An unexpected turn of events changes Hoppi's perspective and he ends up the winner for a surprising reason. (The Penguin Group, 2010. ISBN: 9780399252389)

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Celebrate Easter with Colored Eggs, Flowers and Prayer

This is a nonfiction children's book, in picture book format, that emphasizes the Christian celebration of Easter and also covers such traditional Easter activities as decorating eggs, Easter egg hunts, and enjoying Easter candy. Celebrate Easter is part of the Holidays Around the World Series, published by National Geographic for children in grades 1 to 4. (National Geographic, 2007. ISBN: 9781426300202) 

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The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes by Du Bose Heyward

This classic by Du Bose Heyward is a heartwarming story of virtue rewarded. The book was originally published in 1939. This charming story tells how a rabbit was chosen to be an Easter Bunny despite (in fact, because of) being the mother of 21 bunnies. Teaching her bunnies to take care of themselves makes Cottontail wise, kind, and swift—all important traits for an Easter Bunny. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014 for the 75th-anniversary edition. ISBN: 9780544251977).

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The Story of Easter by Christopher Doyle

Christopher Doyle’s retelling of the Easter story is based on the biblical accounts in Matthew 21-26, Luke 22-23, John 13, 17-21, and Acts 2. Doyle effectively captures the drama and significance of Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection in his narrative, and John Hayson’s watercolor illustrations are delicate yet dramatic. This book is best suited for 8- to 12-year-olds. covering Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem through Pentecost. (Concordia Publishing House, 2008. ISBN: 9780758608376)

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P. Zonka Lays an Egg by Julie Paschkis

With its wonderful bright and lively illustrations, P. Zonka Lays an Egg will quickly engage children's attention, and the tale of the remarkable hen and her amazing accomplishment will keep them interested. P. Zonka is not like the other hens. While they are laying eggs, she is contemplating all of nature's beauty.

The other hens think P. Zonka is lazy because she hasn't laid any eggs. When she finally lays an egg, it is as creative and unusual as P. Zonka herself. Author and illustrator Julie Paschkis' inspiration for the exuberantly decorated egg came from the traditional Ukrainian Pysanky, which the publisher describes as "eggs, richly decorated to honor the sun and welcome the spring." (Peachtree Publishers, 2015. ISBN: 9781561458196)

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Rechenka's Eggs by Patricia Polacco

The picture book Rechenka's Eggs was written and illustrated by Patricia Polacco. Kindly old Babushka takes in an injured goose. She names the goose Rechenka and nurses it back to health. Unfortunately, Rechenka ruins all of the beautiful Easter eggs Babushka has so painstakingly painted. Miraculously, Rechenka replaces all the beautiful eggs by laying one intricately colored egg every day for 13 days, so that Babushka has enough to take to the Easter Festival. Rechenka also leaves a wonderful surprise for Babushka. (Penguin Putnam, 1996. ISBN: 9780698113855)

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The Story of the Easter Bunny by Katherine Tegen

This clever tale tells the story of how a rabbit became the Easter Bunny. Whimsical watercolors by English artist Sally Anne Lambert add detail and warmth to the picture book. It all starts with “a round old couple and their little rabbit.” Every Easter, the couple decorates Easter eggs and delivers them around the town. As they grow older, their rabbit does more and more of the work, until he becomes the Easter Bunny. (HarperCollins, 2005. ISBN: 9780060587819)

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Love One Another: The Last Days of Jesus by Lauren Thompson

Lauren Thompson’s retelling relies on the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The simple, straightforward text is enhanced by the sensitive artwork of Elizabeth Uyehara, oil painting on canvas done in a primitive style. She effectively illustrates the story without using images that would frighten small children. This is a good book for all ages. (Scholastic, 2000. ISBN: 9780439283007)

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The Golden Egg Book by Margaret Wise Brown

This classic Golden Book was written by Margaret Wise Brown and originally published in 1947. The overall design of the book and Leonard Weisgard's lush and whimsical watercolors add greatly to the story of a lonely bunny, an unhatched egg, and a new friend. This is a charming story for very young children. (Random House Children's Books, 2000. ISBN: 9780375827174)

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Queen of Easter by Mary Engelbreit

Ann Estelle is at it again. The story's heroine wants a fancy Easter hat so she can be "Queen of Easter" in the neighborhood Easter parade, but is very disappointed when her mother buys her a plain hat. When Ann Estelle leaves her new hat on the porch, a robin builds a nest in it and lays eggs. What's Ann Estelle to do? There's lots of fun in this picture book written and illustrated by Mary Engelbreit. Her colorful borders and crisp illustrations are a joy. At the back of the book is a nice surprise: an Ann Estelle paper doll, complete with an Easter dress and hat. (HarperCollins, 2006. ISBN: 9780060081867)

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Easter Babies: A Springtime Counting Book by Joy N. Hulme

With its soft focus illustrations of appealing young farm animals, Easter Babies: A Springtime Counting Book is a celebration of the new life that comes with spring rather than a book that focuses strongly on either the sacred or secular aspects of Easter. There's just a brief reference to church bells and an Easter egg hunt scene. This concept book goes from 1 to 12 in its brief descriptions. Easter Babies is a nice gentle book to share at bedtime. Written by Joy N. Hulme and illustrated by Dan Andreasen, it's recommended for ages 3 to 6. (Sterling, 2010. ISBN: 9781402763526)

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Kennedy, Elizabeth. "12 Best Easter Picture Books." Learn Religions, Aug. 27, 2020, learnreligions.com/best-easter-picture-books-627104. Kennedy, Elizabeth. (2020, August 27). 12 Best Easter Picture Books. Retrieved from https://www.learnreligions.com/best-easter-picture-books-627104 Kennedy, Elizabeth. "12 Best Easter Picture Books." Learn Religions. https://www.learnreligions.com/best-easter-picture-books-627104 (accessed April 14, 2021).