Introducing Our Featured Friend: God Gave Us Easter by Lisa Tawn Bergren
Since this book was published in 2013, it’s new to us this Easter. Each time I’ve read it to our kids, I’ve discovered something new in or about the book. The most obvious literary element that Bergren uses throughout her book is symbolism. She begins with the symbol of the egg cracking open and relates it to the empty tomb. Then as Little Cub and Papa take a journey together through the forest and down the river, Papa uses what they see around them to teach her many more parts of the Easter story, going all the way back to Noah’s flood and “The Root of the Jesse”.
The next time I read it, I noticed how she went from the big story to our story. Papa teaches Little Cub stories from the Bible relating to the symbols, but then, when Little Cub asks, “’Do you talk to Jesus, Papa?’”, he begins making it personal. Papa responds, “’In a way. It’s like he whispers in my heart. . . . it takes a special kind of listening.’” Little Cub learns that God’s big plan for the world includes talking to her and loving her.
Finally, on the third reading, I discovered that through her story, Bergren demonstrates a Biblical model of how parents can intentionally teach their children within their daily routines: “These commands that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down when you get up” (Deuteronomy 6). In doing this, Papa and Little Cub shared the Easter story together during their day out enjoying nature. Little Cub listened– to her Papa and her Heavenly Papa.
Inviting You to Become FRIENDS with God Gave Us Easter:
Feel, Relate, Imagine, Explore, Navigate, Develop, Share
*This time, these are suggested questions for us adults reading to the children in our lives.
F– What symbol do you feel like your child will understand and appreciate? Teach that one first.
R– What symbol do you relate to most? Why? Tell your children why it’s special to you.
I– Imagine where you will walk or drive with your kids this week, and think through some things you can teach them based on what you normally see on those routes. Maybe you will find some extra special opportunities if you are looking for them!
E– Explore a park or nature in your own neighborhood, and look for symbols of Easter to share with your kiddos.
N– Navigate a new route to travel to school, the store, or another place you need to go this week so that you see new things. Tell the kids to be looking for Easter symbols in spring.
D– Develop your child’s artistic, musical, or writing abilities by asking them to create an Easter story through a picture, song or story.
S– Share God’s love with your child by praying with them today.