Have you read my Easter book BUNNY FINDS EASTER? It released with Zonderkidz last Spring and both then, and now, it’s my hope, that it will be used as a fun introduction to the real meaning of Easter with littlest ones. The story is bouncy and colorful and fits right into an Easter basket.
It was my joy to write and I love how illustrator Ela Jarzabek’s colorful renderings of Bunny and friends complement the joyfully rhyming text.
Though I carefully crafted every line, I must confess that I have a favorite. It comes near the end, when Bunny finds herself in church. All through the book she’s been on a hunt to find what Easter signifies. She’s dyed eggs and nibbled hot cross buns and hopped through an Easter Egg Hunt. But, though all those things can be fun clues, it’s not until this moment near the end of the book that she has that heart moment, when deep inside, she makes the connection and figures it out.
Here’s that scene recapped: Bunny is in her pew as all stand to sing the Easter news.
“Who came to take our sins away? And rose again on Easter Day?”
Here’s the moment:
And on the next spread she joyfully sings the answer: “Jesus!”
This, my friends, is what I pray for all of our children. Not that their whiskers twitch, but that this Easter, deep inside they feel that glow of knowing Jesus came and died and rose again for them.
If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to my blog using the subscribe button in the footer or sidebar. I post once or twice weekly with book news, inspirational reflections, tips, interviews and more.
Last week Bunny (the sweet protagonist from Bunny Finds Easter) and I were invited to our first 2023 Easter Egg Hunt! On Palm Sunday, I’ll be reading Bunny’s story at this event that typically attracts several hundred people. Do you know what that means? It means it’s time to take out my Bunny-inspired Easter bonnet! It also means it’s time to share some ideas for how we as parents, teachers and the church can help our littlest ones understand what Easter is all about.
In Bunny Finds Easter (Zonderkidz, 2022), Bunny is on a quest to find out if Easter is all about chocolate eggs and jelly beans or if it might just be about a little bit more? As the story unfolds, Bunny encounters many of the fun traditions surrounding Easter but it’s not until she arrives and church and they sing an Easter song that she realizes JESUS is the reason we celebrate Easter. Indeed, amidst all the fun of jelly beans and Easter bunnies, it can be hard for little ones to understand that Easter is about Jesus. With that in mind, here are…
Five Fun Ideas to Point Little Ones to JESUS at Easter
Read some faith-filled Easter board books (and picture books too!) With simple text and engaging illustrations an Easter-themed board book that touches on the real meaning of Easter is a cozy, fun way to spark conversation with little ones that Easter is about Jesus and His great love for us – a love shown through the atoning grace of the cross, the joy of His resurrection, and the gift of new life we have in Him.
Do some Easter baking. Little ones love baking and eating sweet treats. That’s why Bunny nibbles hot cross buns in Bunny Finds Easter. According to tradition, hot cross buns were first baked by monks in the 12th century with a cross marked in the dough to commemorate Good Friday. They are relatively easy to make and a delicious reminder of Jesus and the cross. Resurrection rolls are another fun and meaningful baking option that can be used to point little ones to Jesus at Easter. You can find many recipes online for baking and enjoying either or both of these baked items with your little one.
Use jelly beans to point to Jesus. As you and your little ones nibble Easter jelly beans, let them serve as a sweet reminder of Jesus’s love for them and the world. Before sampling each color, think about how it might remind us of Jesus. For example, yellow can remind us that Jesus is the light of the world. Green can remind us of the new life we have in Him. Purple, the color of royalty, can remind us that He is our loving King. Red can remind us that he died and rose again for us. And so on.
Include Jesus in the Easter basket. Fill your children’s Easter baskets with colorful, engaging items that remind them of Jesus. Consider having a faith-based Easter board book serve as the centerpiece. Round it out with small items such as candies, stickers, and other little toys etc. that are in some way connected to Jesus and Easter. Examples: a little lamb (we are His sheep), a glow-in-the-dark cross, chocolate hearts (because Jesus loves us), little chicks and bunnies (to represent new life in Christ) etc.
Sing some “Jesus loves you!” songs. Songs learned, even as young as toddler and preschool age, can have a lasting faith impact on the human soul. Just think of the songs you remember from your childhood and beyond. Do any of them speak of Jesus? If so, they can be a special way to introduce Jesus to your little ones at Easter and throughout the year. Some Easter-y favorites that we love at our house (that are good for little ones too) include: He Lives,Jesus Loves Me, Amazing Grace and more.
OTHER IDEAS for using Bunny Finds Easter specifically:
Have a Bunny Finds EasterBook Walk. This fun intergenerational activity has the feel of an Easter Egg Hunt – and can even include jelly beans and other goodies – but the “hunt” is walking along a trail (outside or inside) to discover progressive spreads of the story BUNNY FINDS EASTER mounted on boards culminating in a craft or activity table at the end of the walk. Get all the details plus the FREE downloadable instruction sheet here.
Get FREE downloadable BUNNY FINDS EASTER activity kit designed especially for littlest ones. The six-page kit includes:
Decorate the Easter Egg
Help Bunny Find Her Way to Church on Easter Morning
How Many Eggs Can You Find?
Draw More Easter Lilies for Bunny
Send an Easter Card to Someone You Love ( foldable printable card)
Interested in ordering Bunny Finds Easter? It’s available wherever books are sold. Happy Monday, all!
Note: If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to my blog using the subscribe button in the footer or sidebar. I post once or twice weekly with book news, inspirational reflections, tips, interviews and more.
I’m delighted to share that my 2022 Easter-themed board book BUNNY FINDS EASTER published by Zonderkidz and illustrated by Ela Jarzabek has won a Northern Lights Book Award in the Holiday/Notable Days Category.
Per their website, “The Northern Lights Book Awards considers children’s books to be an art form and honors books that excel in aesthetic and literary qualities with an emphasis on permanency. We are seeking works that will leave a lasting impression, ones that will resonate with the reader not only now but in years to come.”
Their judging panel “consists of industry experts in the fields of education, publishing, and writing. Not only are they seeking works that will resonate with the reader in years to come, but they are especially interested in books that are enriching, uplifting, and promote goodwill.”
Wow! Bunny and I are honored to be recognized in this way and we can’t wait to visit schools and churches this coming Easter season. In the meantime, order a copy for your church or school, or your children’s Easter basket, if you haven’t already, and enjoy this fun book trailer that Zonderkidz created for the book’s release last spring.
This will be my last post of 2022. See you in January with brand new inspiration for your inbox!
Note: If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to my blog using the subscribe button in the footer or sidebar. I post once or twice weekly with inspirational reflections, tips, interviews and more.
Happy Friday, friends! Bunny and I have five fun things to share with you this week. First, if you live in the Bedminster, NJ area, I invite you to join me at Pluckemin Presbyterian’s annual Eggstravaganza taking place this Sunday, April 10th from 11:15 – 1 pm. Here are the details. No registration required. There will be copies of BUNNY FINDS EASTER on hand for purchase. Cash or check only.
Next, here are two interviews you might enjoy. The first is over at Read,Discuss, DO! where I chat with Mindy Baker about the inspiration behind the book, the board book format, book-themed activities and more. The second is a feature article that appeared this week in my town’s TapInto news outlet. This the one to read to get the inside scoop on what the journey to publication in the picture book world has been like (at least for me).
Fourth, I am the guest author today over at StoryJumpers, a bi-weekly Christian podcast that features a children’s book read by the author and an interview with the author. The podcast airs today, April 8th, 2022 over at The Bridge Podcast Network, part of The Bridge, a community supported, non-commercial Christian radio station serving Delaware, South Jersey, parts of Maryland and beyond. Here’s the link to the BUNNY FINDS EASTER episode.
Finally, just in case you missed it, I thought you’d like to see the Easter bonnet I created, with the help of my daughter, to wear to all my visits. It’s getting a lot of smiles because I look so silly, er I mean, beautiful wearing it! It’s just like Bunny’s from the book. What do you think? (This is from one of my zoom visits this Easter season.)
Special Note: This post was created by my ADORABLE niece. She’s just 13 but she sure knows how to create an incredible book scavenger hunt. Enjoy her post. Take it away, Miss E!
Hello, parents! If your kids (and maybe even you!) are really enjoying Laura Sassi’s new book Bunny Finds Easter, you may want to try this BOOK SCAVENGER HUNT. To start, you can read the book to refresh your child’s memory. Then, on each spread, (after reading the words) this list will give you prompts to ask your kids so that they can enjoy the wonderful illustrations even more!
(Remember, if your kid is getting antsy, you don’t have to use all the prompts. You can also make your own–they are open to interpretation. Each illustration can spark many conversations!)
Spread #1 (Bunny waking up and choosing clothes)
Do you see the butterfly? (For older kids: There are six butterflies in this book. Can you find them all?) What color is Bunny’s shirt? How many outfits do you see in Bunny’s wardrobe?
Spread #2 (Scene in the kitchen)
Count the hot cross buns. Can you find 3 plates? Can you find 2 spoons? What do you think is cooking in the pot on the stove?
Spread #3 (Bunny painting eggs)
Can you name and count the colors on Bunny’s palate? Can you count the eggs Bunny painted? (You can point out to your child that the egg Bunny is painting on the left page matches the curtains! These illustrations have many thoughtful details!)
Spread #4 (Bunny picking flowers)
Count the bees. (For older kids: Count the flowers Bunny has picked.) Can you spot the bird’s nest?
Spread #5 (Bunny in the town)
How many lily pads can you find? How many chicks? Can you spot three tadpoles? Can you find the church in the distance?
Spread #6 (Easter egg hunt)
(For older kids: Try to find all 30 eggs.) How many animals do you see? Can you find the church? For an extra challenge, see which animals have baskets.
Spread #7 (In the church)
Count the animals in the room. Which ones are wearing hats? Do you see Bunny? Can you see the cross? What do you think the cross means?
Spread #8 (Bunny and her family)
Have your child point to Bunny’s mommy and then her daddy.
Spread #9 (Happy Easter)
Count Bunny and her friends on the Happy Easter page. Can you find the ladybug? Can you find an animal friend with a heart on his shirt? Which animals have hats? (The list goes on and on.) Then, tell your child more about what Easter is all about!
Wow, Miss E, that was AMAZING! Readers, don’t you agree? And now in celebration of this post (and the fact that Easter is just around the corner), I’m offering a FREE copy of BUNNY FINDS EASTER to one lucky reader. Details below.
BUNNY FINDS EASTER GIVEAWAY!!! If you’d like a chance to win a copy of my newest book BUNNY FINDS EASTER (Zonderkidz, 2022) follow this blog and comment below with your favorite tip from Miss E’s book scavenger hunt. (NOTE: Must be a U.S. resident and at least 18 years old to enter.) Thank you, Zonderkidz, for providing the winning book. This giveaway ends Tuesday, April 5th at 11:59 pm EST. The winner will be announced the next day.
Happy Friday, friends! Bunny and I have four fun things to share with you this week. First, if you live in the metropolitan NY/NJ area, I invite you to stop in at Perwinkles Gift Shop in Cranford, NJ, tomorrow March 26th from 1 – 3. Owner, Elaine, will have a broad selection of my books on hand, including BUNNY FINDS EASTER! Let’s help her sell them all. Details in image.
Second, be sure to check out Sally Matheny’s review of BUNNY FINDS EASTER. Her reviews are always so thoughtful. Here’s the link . While you are there, I hope you will enjoy exploring her many other reviews as well.
Third, I was honored to be featured in writer (and former English teacher) Joyce McCullough’s Spring 2022 Newsletter with an in-depth interview. Thank you, Joyce. Here’s the link.
Finally, earlier this week I had the pleasure of getting to chat with Christian children’s author, Christie Thomas about books and other fun things including, BUNNY FINDS EASTER. Here’s the link for that:
In my new board book, Bunny Finds Easter, Bunny is on a quest to find out if Easter is all about chocolate eggs and jelly beans or if it might just be about a little bit more. Indeed, amidst all the fun of jelly beans and easter bunnies, it can be hard for little ones to understand that Easter is about Jesus. With that in mind, I’m delighted to share the post which Zonderkidz invited me to write for their blog. The topic? Five fun ways to point toddlers and preschoolers to Jesus at Easter.
Happy Friday, friends! Bunny and I have four fun things to share with you this week. First, be sure to check out my blog interview with children’s author and host, Mindy Baker, as we chat about the magical role illustrations play in board books – with a focus on a favorite spread from BUNNY FINDS EASTER. Here’s the link: https://mindybakerbooks.com/a-chat-with-laura-sassi-about-her-new-book/
Third, in case you missed it yesterday at 12:12 eastern, here is the replay of my Instagram LIVE interview with host Valerie Ellis, creator of Our Everyday Parables, a blog dedicated to encouraging and empowering parents to use everyday moments and kids’ books to teach, connect, listen, and inspire. We had some technical difficulties at the beginning, but they resolved and she explains in the link how you can skip over those bits.
Finally, if you haven’t already done so, be sure to enter the 25 book giveaway for BUNNY FINDS EASTER which Zonderkidz is hosting over on Goodreads. (And while you are there, please add the book to your to-read list and/or review it, if you you willing.) Thank you! Here’s the giveaway link: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/340275-bunny-finds-easter
Tune in this Thursday, March 10, 2022 at 12:12 eastern on Instagram for my first Instagram LIVE interview. I’ll be joining Valerie Ellis, host and founder of Our Everyday Parables, a blog dedicated to “inspiring families to faith and compassion through everyday moments and excellent books”.
The interview will include questions from listeners, so if you have a question you’ve always wanted to ask about any of my books or about using books to foster faith in our little ones and want it answered on Instagram LIVE (squee!) please let me know in a comment here and I will share it with Valerie. You can also DM her with questions on the Our Everyday Parables instagram page. You can also type your question in during the interview.
If you want to come, I highly recommend popping over to her Insta page and signing up for the reminder. It’s easy and then Instagram will remind you to come! Neat, huh? I signed up so I won’t forget to come either. LOL.
Oh, and there will be a multi-book giveaway too. This image gives a clue as to which four books will be included in that. I hope you can make it.
Blessings all! And remember to leave your question. Any that aren’t answered at the interview, I will put in queue to incorporate into future blog posts!
So many fun things to share this week as Bunny hops her way towards Easter. First, be sure to check out this fresh-off-the-press review for BUNNY FINDS EASTER from author Rebecca Gomez. She’s a real stickler for rhyme… and she loved it! (Phew.) And this cute little fella weighed in as well. Isn’t he darling? Here’s the link: https://www.rebeccajgomez.com/2022/03/review-bunny-finds-easter-by-laura.html
Also, last week I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Mel Rosenberg for his “You’ve Got Mel” podcast. Enjoy it and all his other interviews with children’s authors on the New Book Network. Here’s the link: https://newbooksnetwork.com/bunny-finds-easter
Finally, Zonderkidz is sponsoring a 25 book giveaway of BUNNY FINDS EASTER on Goodreads. Be sure to enter. While you are there, please add the book to your “to-read” list. That will help others to discover it. And after you read it, or any of my books, if you could also leave a review, that would be wonderful. Good or bad, every review helps. Thank you! Here’s the link to the giveaway: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/340275-bunny-finds-easter