One of my favorite things about reading to my kids is sharing books that I loved as a child.
I especially enjoy reminiscing with holiday books - they always bring back fun memories of the dressing up in our Easter finest, large family get-togethers and egg hunts around the house.
Vintage Easter Books for Kids
I always find that I'm a little more excited to read when it's a book that brings back fond memories for me, memories that I share with my kids while we read. Yes, new books are fun too but I really enjoy introducing the kids to classic literature.
Let me know if you remember any of these vintage kids' Easter books (you may have found one in your basket when you were a kid):
This is, hands-down, my favorite Easter story. Written in 1939, it still entertains readers today. It's the story of how the Easter Bunny gets all the eggs delivered in time for Easter morning -- he chooses helper bunnies! The first four bunnies chosen are all boys, but the fifth bunny chosen is a mother bunny to 21 little rabbits. She shows that she has the skills needed to join the Easter Bunny's team. The illustrations are beautiful and it's a great read.
One of the things we enjoy most about this book is the size - standing more than 12 inches tall, it brings the gorgeous illustrations to life for children! Published in 1947, the books tells the story of a little bunny who finds an egg. He hears sounds from within the egg and imagines all kinds of animals who might hatch, so he tries to open the egg to meet a friend.
Not necessarily an Easter book but one that reads well for the holiday. Marshmallow is a baby bunny who moves into the home of a tabby cat named Oliver. Oliver does not like Marshmallow but the bunny thinks that Oliver is it's mother. This book is based on a true story and has been enthralling readers for decades! It's a longer story but can easily be read in a few sittings with younger children (older kids will want you to finish it right away!).
Another book worth the read at any time of the year is the Velveteen Rabbit. A young boy falls in love with his stuffed rabbit (as so many children do). The rabbit is lost, missed, found and comforts the boy through a serious illness - he is truely a friend to the boy. When the boy begins to get well, the doctor says that the rabbit must be cast aside as it may still carry the illness. A new bunny is bought to replace the Velveteen Rabbit. I won't ruin the end for you -- if you read the story, you'll learn the amazing fate of the Velveteen Rabbit.
Printed in 1942, this is the story of a young bunny who wants to run away from his mother. But the mama bunny tells him that she will chase him. If he turns into a fish, she will become a fisherman and catch him. No matter what challenge the young bunny can think up, the mother bunny always ensures that she will find him (and the reader understands, love him). This is a story that's most appreciated by young children.
Penned in 1950 and winner of the Caldecott Medal in 1951, the Egg Tree is a great story of family heirlooms. When Katy and Carl go on a egg hunt in Grandma's house, Katy finds some special painted eggs that her grandmother made when she was a child. The eggs are hung on a special little tree called The Egg Tree. I love that the book will inspire kids to paint/decorate their own eggs and start a new tradition in their home.
I'm a big fan of Richard Scarry so I always like to include one of his books during our holiday reading. The Bunny Book is about a Father bunny wondering what his little bunny will be when he grows up. Everyone in the family seems to have a different career in mind, but the most charming parts of the book is learning what the baby bunny becomes when he does get older. (It's also a wonderful book for Father's Day).
Probably one of the most well-known bunny stories by many generations. Who doesn't love to read about all the mischief Peter Rabbit gets into when he, Flopsy, Mopsy and Cotton-tail get into Mr. McGregor's garden! Another classic story that is a great read at this time of the year!
4 Classic Easter Movies
And I have to share some of my favorite Easter holiday shows -
I'm sure you will all remember these (especially if you are a fan of Charlie Brown or Rankin & Bass)!
Really, I don't think there are any new Easter specials that even come close to the originals.
There's something about hearing the voices of Danny Kaye in Here Comes Peter Cottontail while Peter tries to turn back time and beat old Irontail to be Chief Easter Bunny.
In The Easter Bunny Is Coming to Town, the famous Fred Estaire narrates as we watch Sunny, the Easter Bunny, create jellybeans and fool Gadzooks in order to cross the mountain to Kidville.
And of course, It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown is family favorite. I love the scene when Peppermint Patty tries to teach Marcie how to dye Easter eggs - classic!
Believe it or not, all three of these were produced in the 1970's! Must have been a big year for Easter as a major holiday :)
And how could I forget the great musical, Easter Parade! Older kids will enjoy this classic musical with Judy Garland and Fred Astaire (yes, the same person who narrates The Easter Bunny is Comin' to Town). This is a fun song and dance movie to watch on family movie night!
If you haven't read or watched these classic Easter tales, check out your local library. I highly recommend sharing a few with the kids this year.
I'm sure you had some favorite books as a child too - do you read them to your kids?