Beyond the round-up of secular-themed Easter books noted in the Dec. 23 Children's Forecasts, two new paper-over-board picture books focus on the meaning of Easter. The girl who narrates The Best Thing About Easter by Christine Harder Tangvald, illus. by C.A. Nobens, concedes that she loves Easter eggs, candy, bunnies, ducks, chicks and so forth, but points out that the "best thing about Easter" is Jesus: "I'm glad Jesus loves me! I'm really, really glad, aren't you?" (Standard, $7.99 28p ages 3-7 ISBN 0-7847-1285-9; Jan.)

Set to the tune of "Jesus Loves Me," the text for An Easter Alleluia by Anita Reith Stohs, illus. by Joel Snyder, begins with a few verses about the Resurrection and then emphasizes the constant presence of Jesus in daily life. An extensive note to parents includes suggestions for deepening Easter rituals to enhance their religious meanings ("Decorate eggs with Easter crosses, outlines of the open tomb....") Illustrations range from biblical settings to views of contemporary children, including a scene where Jesus joins the children. (Concordia, $9.99 ages 4-8 ISBN 0-7586-0116-6; Jan.)

Of more secular appeal, Easter Day Alphabet by Beverly Barras Vidrine, illus. by Alison Davis Lyne, reviews Easter customs and joins them to folk traditions. Letting "F" stand for "food," for example, Vidrine notes that ham is popular on Easter and adds that "a very long time ago, the pig was a symbol of wealth. Today piggy banks carry on this same idea." With its spic-and-span children posed in their Easter best, the art makes no attempt to stay up to date. (Pelican, $7.95 paper 32p ages 5-8 ISBN 1-58980-076-1; Apr.)

Preschoolers will relish Maisy's Easter Egg Hunt Sticker Book by Lucy Cousins, featuring the charismatic mouse heroine as she plans an egg hunt for her friends. Fans use stickers to help Maisy hide each treasure and, later, to help her friends find them. (Candlewick, $3.99 paper 16p ages 3-5 ISBN 0-7636-2071-8; Mar.)

Hop to It! A Scholastic Easter Treasury packs seven previously published picture books between its paper-over-board covers. David McPhail illustrates Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Peter Rabbit; from Norman Bridwell, Clifford's Happy Easter; and from John Speirs, The Best Easter Hunt Ever. Also included: Hans Wilhelm's Bunny Trouble and More Bunny Trouble; Amanda Stephens's and Christopher Santoro's Peter Cottontail; and Bernice Chardiet's and Charles Micucci's The Easter Ribbit. (Scholastic/Cartwheel, $10.99 224p ages 4-8 ISBN 0-439-44267-2; Feb.)