easter books for children

The very best books for babies and children about Easter

When is Easter in 2020?

In 2020, Easter Sunday falls on 12 April. Holy Thursday is 9 April and Good Friday in 10 April.

When is Easter celebrated?

Easter Sunday can fall on any date between 22 March and 25 April.

What determines the dates of Easter each year?

The date on which Easter will be celebrated each year is calculated using the lunar calendar which is different from the Gregorian calendar we use today. Easter always occurs on the first Sunday after the paschal full moon, the first full moon that occurs after the vernal equinox. Technically, the vernal equinox can fall on 19, 20 or 21 March, however Christian churches have chosen to recognise the vernal/spring equinox as always occurring on March 21.

Easter books for children can basically be divided into two groups:

  • picture books which tell the story of Jesus’s crucifixion and resurrection and which focus on the Christian celebration of Easter;
  • picture books which don’t mention religion at all. These books tend to focus instead on the symbols of spring and on the activities which have come to associated with our now mostly-secular celebrations of Easter;

In countries such as Australia, where I live, and in New Zealand, the US and the UK, Easter is usually celebrated with activities like Easter egg hunts, Easter hat parades and visits from the Easter bunny. These activities happen at home and often also in schools and there is a heavy emphasis on symbols such as rabbits, baby chicks and sometimes bilbies (bilbies are native Australian marsupials – they look like a cross between a small rabbit and a mouse).

About Easter Books for Kids

I’ve always struggled a bit with Easter books for children because, if I’m honest, I don’t really see a lot of point in celebrating Easter unless you’re religious.

Of course, the Christian celebration of Easter was superimposed on the pre-existing pagan holiday which celebrated the beginning of spring. I think that celebrating the arrival of spring after a long winter is a lovely and worthwhile thing to do, particularly with children, however, living in Australia, for me there’s always been the problem that Easter actually falls in the autumn, just as we’re heading in to winter. This means that celebrating the arrival of spring doesn’t really fit with celebrating Easter either.

And almost all the Easter books for children I’ve read over the years talk about spring and the well-known symbols of spring such as flowers and baby animals. This can be confusing for Australian children and it’s hard to explain to little ones. I guess that might be why the new crop of Australian Easter books all seem to be about Easter egg hunts.

Anyhow, that said, I am always in favour of any excuse to snuggle up and read aloud with small humans and I’ve managed to find some really lovely Easter books for children to share with you. I actually looked at about 40 books in total and discarded the ones with weak storylines, boring illustrations and dodgy attempts at rhyming (there were many of these).

So here are the books that made my list: 17 fun Easter-themed books for children which I hope you’ll enjoy sharing with your little ones. I’ve included a couple of non-fiction titles which do a good job of explaining the origins of our Easter celebrations and some of the symbols of Easter. I’ve also included a couple of books which have a religious focus. I hope you and your small humans enjoy reading them. 

easter

Easter

This is a cute and simple board book with large tabs along the top and one side which take you to pages about chocolate eggs, flowers, baby chicks and all the other symbols we traditionally associate with springtime and Easter. Each page features simple, rhyming text about Easter. I like this little book because it’s bright, chunky and colourful and the perfect size for little hands to grasp. The tabs also make turning the pages do-able for small humans. 

Suggested for ages: 0 – 2 years

 

grug and his first easter

Grug and his first Easter

Grug is an imaginary bush animal who features in a series of stories written by his creator, Ted Prior. In this story Grug, who hasn’t heard of Easter until his friend, Cara, explains it to him, wakes to find a bilby has left him a basket of eggs so he sets out to deliver them to his friends in the bush. This simple story is set in the Australian bush and will appeal to emerging readers, as well as to younger children. It does mention that Easter is about a time when “someone special went away forever” and later tells us that “Grug went to bed wondering if he might be born again” but it’s not overtly religious.

Suggested for ages: 2 – 5 years

easter fun

Easter Fun!

This is a cute touch-and-feel book with rhyming text about the Easter bunny, Easter eggs, baby chicks and spring flowers. It’s another one of those books which ties spring and Easter together and so doesn’t reflect our experience in Australia (grrr!) but it’s a cute book all the same. Babies and toddlers love touch-and-feel books and this makes a lovely addition to an Easter library for small humans.

Suggested for ages: 0 – 2 years

i'm ready for easter

I’m Ready for Easter

I’m actually quite excited about this cute little board book because it’s actually about Easter in Australia! It’s a new book for Easter in 2020 and it’s the only one I can recall seeing that actually specifically mentions aspects of Easter that happen in Australia. Woohoo! The main character is a platypus and the story follows him as he gets involved in activities like making Easter bonnets with his koala friends and going on an Easter egg hunt.

Suggested for ages: 2 -5 years

peppa's easter egg hunt

Peppa’s Easter Egg Hunt

I tend to steer clear of books which have come out of TV shows or movies but I quite like Peppa Pig and this is a cute book so it made the list. This story follows Peppa and her friends as they search for Easter eggs at Grandpa and Granny Pig’s place. After finding and eating their chocolate eggs, they go to visit Granny and Grandpa’s chickens and are just in time to watch the baby chicks hatch.

Suggested for ages: 2 – 5 years 

babies love easter

Babies Love Easter

This cute lift-the-flap book is a great way to introduce your baby or toddler to some classic Easter traditions such as hunting for Easter eggs. Each double-page spread features one simple sentence and babies will love lifting the six extra-sturdy flaps which have obviously been designed especially for very little hands. This book is quite small and is just the right size for babies and toddlers to handle. A perfect first book about Easter.

Suggested for ages: 0 – 2 years

spot's first easter

Spot’s First Easter

Pretty much all the small humans I’ve ever read to love Spot and they also tend to love lift-the-flap books so this book is a winner. Perhaps unsurprisingly, in this book Spot is hunting for Easter eggs and the two little ones with whom I read this book absolutely loved the thrill of opening each flap to see if there was an Easter egg there.

Suggested for ages: 1 – 3 years

chesters colourful easter eggs

Chester’s Colourful Easter Eggs

This is a very simple and sweet book which incorporates learning about colours with a story about a kind rabbit who sets out to decorate Easter eggs for his six special friends. He chooses the colours, paints the eggs and then hides them for his friends to find. The text includes lots of repetition which is perfect for little ones and the illustrations have an old-fashioned feel which reminds me of a collage.  

Suggested for ages: 0 – 4 years 

e is for easter

E is for Easter

This is an alphabet book which celebrates springtime and, as you can see from the cover, the illustrations have a retro, vintage feel to them. The illustrations include the Easter Bunny, baskets overflowing with Easter eggs, children decorating Easter eggs and an Easter egg hunt. As I mentioned in the introduction to these book reviews, Easter doesn’t fall in spring in Australia and I always find the Easter books for children which focus on spring a bit irritating. Having said that, this book is pretty gorgeous, which is why it made it onto the list. If you live in the southern hemisphere and your child is three or four you will need to explain the spring references.

Suggested for ages: 0 – 4 years

tucker digs easter

Tucker Digs Easter

Tucker is a new find for me and it turns out there’s a whole series of books about him. This is a slightly larger than usual board book and it’s actually really gorgeous. The story follows Tucker as he helps the Easter bunny to hide his Easter eggs. But they hide the eggs so well that the children can’t find them on Easter morning so Tucker has to help. The illustrations in this book are really beautiful and Tucker is a super-cute little character.

Suggested for ages: 2 – 5 years

poppy and sams easter egg hunt

Poppy and Sam’s Easter Egg Hunt

There’s a series of Poppy and Sam books and they’re pretty cute. This one’s about an Easter egg hunt (surprise, surprise) and there are a couple of features that make the book lots of fun for young children. On each double-page spread there is a small cut-out through which we can spy an object that looks like it might be an egg. But turn the page and we find … it’s something else. Also on each double-page spread is a finger-trail which invites children to trace the flight of a butterfly and of a bee, spotting Daisy the cow, Clucky the hen and Rusty the pig along the way.

Suggested for ages: 2 – 5 years

the dumb bunnies easter

The Dumb Bunnies’ Easter

I’m really not a fan of the word ‘dumb’ but this book made my list because the children I’ve read it to laughed themselves silly over it and, to me, that’s worth a lot. The Dumb Bunnies are a family of not-so-smart rabbits who manage to get their holiday celebrations completely muddled. The book begins: It was December 24th, and the Dumb Bunnies were getting ready for Easter, which gives you a good idea of how the book might unfold. Young children love it when the characters in books get it wrong and they think the ridiculousness of this story is absolutely hilarious. Dav Pilkey wrote the Dogman and Captain Underpants books and The Dumb Bunnies’ Easter features the same hilarious illustrations.

Suggested for ages: 4 – 7 years

beautiful eggs

Beautiful Eggs

This is honestly one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever seen. It’s a large-format board book that celebrates traditions of egg-decorating from around the world using wonderful illustrations made out of cut paper in gorgeous colours. The text, too, is just perfect, explaining each country’s tradition in carefully-chosen words and with just enough detail to capture children’s interest. The book reveals a world of beautiful pattern and colour and includes an Easter egg stencil at the end which children can use to decorate their own Easter egg artwork.

Suggested for ages: 4 years and up (including adults!)

 

the story of easter

The Story of Easter

If your family is religious, this sweet board book is a wonderful way to introduce your little ones to the story of the first Easter. The illustrations are simple, cute and colourful and the text is perfect for parents and grandparents to read aloud. The book has a padded cover and a “carry-me” handle so that your small person can take it wherever she goes.

Suggested for ages: 2-5 years

the easter story

The Easter Story

If you are of the Christian faith and would like to share the story of Jesus’s death and resurrection with your children, this is a good book to look for. The illustrations are really lovely without being cartoon-y (one of my pet dislikes) and the text is written in a contemporary and straightforward style which reads well. This is also a good book to share with your children if you don’t follow a Christian faith but would like your children to understand what Easter means to Christians.

Suggested for ages: 5 – 10 years

happy easter

Happy Easter

This is a non-fiction text which is divided into chapters, each of which explains a different aspect of the Christian celebration of Easter. I wasn’t able to find any other book which explained the history and traditions around Easter so clearly. The book is wonderful for Christians but it’s also fantastic for anyone who doesn’t know much about Christianity and is interested and would like to explain it to their children. The first two chapters are called: What is Christianity? and Being a Christian and the wording throughout the book is along the lines of: Christians remember … and Christians believe … I think this is a great book to use to set the scene for discussions with children about Easter.

Suggested for ages: 5 – 12 years

easter

Easter

This non-fiction book is the only one I could find which explains some of the pagan beliefs and traditions which surrounded the celebration of the arrival of spring. It begins by explaining that Easter is a Christian holiday and discusses Holy Week and the symbols of Easter, before going on to explain the main secular traditions such as Easter eggs and the Easter bunny. This is a great book to read as an introduction to Easter, with big, clear images and simple text.

Suggested for ages: 5 – 10 years

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easter books for children

Over to you

Does your family celebrate Easter?

Do you have a favourite Easter book to add to this list?

Have I missed one of your favourite Easter books for children?

I’d love to hear what you think so drop me a line in the comments.

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Hello!

I’m Felicity. I write about children’s books and reading and about their potential for enriching the lives of young humans.

I review picture books, board books and sometimes books for older children.

As well as being a lover of all things to do with books and reading, I’m a mum of three young adults and a primary school teacher. I also create gift baskets filled with the very best books for children from newborns to four-year-olds.

Welcome. It’s nice to meet you.