THE EASTER CAVE
Told in the format of "This Is the House That Jack Built," this paper-over-board book opens promisingly enough with a view of the open tomb and the passage from Matthew (27:57–60) that describes Joseph from Arímathea laying Jesus in the tomb and rolling the stone in front of it. Ebert's accompanying painting includes all the essential elements: the three crucifixes appear in the background, the stone has been rolled away from the tomb's opening and four men approach the tomb. But in the next spread, the tone set by the biblical passage is undermined by Wedeven's (Just in Time Esther) verse: "These are the men/ That made the crown/ That scratched the King/ That heard the bird/ That crowed near the cave the friend gave." However, the author makes no mention of the bird's role in fulfilling Christ's prophesy that Peter would deny him three times before the cock crows. Some descriptions may strike readers as trivializing ("This is the cross with nails that sting") or forced ("These are the friends with good news to bring,/ That heard the angel on shining wing/ That rolled the stone, a giant thing"). Ebert's portraits of Christ successfully convey a quiet resignation and dignity, but other paintings of butterflies, birds and squirrels take on a Disney-esque quality. Ages 4-8. (Jan.)
For more children's Easter titles, see page 93.
Release date: 01/01/2001