Title: The Way of the Cross
Author and Illustrator: Andrew McDonough
Published by: Malcolm Down
Useful for: children age 3-8 wanting to know the story of Easter
Best bit: This full-colour picture book has incredibly well written, age-appropriate re-telling of the 14 traditional Easter readings from the gospels. It also includes really helpful notes for parents in the back.
Worst bit: Having read other Lost Sheep books, you might be disappointed not to find a fun, rhyming read. However, the absence of rhyme feels right for this story of Jesus’ death, which keeps true to the Bible, with simple and age-appropriate text and pictures – quite a feat!
If you’ve ever tried to do a short, Biblically-accurate re-telling of the Easter story for younger children, you’ll know how difficult it is!
Andrew has done this very well! Without skirting round the ‘hard bits’, he has written and illustrated the 14 traditional readings for Easter in a way which give younger children a flavour of the story without all the details.
Yes, Jesus does die on a cross, so if you’re looking to avoid that, this is not the book for you.
However, many of the complex words have been explained in simpler language – for example the ‘chief priests and teachers of the law’ are ‘the experts’. This doesn’t tell the whole story of course, but instead avoids teaching something which will have to be unlearned, and gives a solid base to build on.
“Hooray for the King” laughed the soldiers.
Lines like this introduce the humiliating treatment Jesus experienced, without all the text of the story.
However, as Andrew suggests at the back, this book could be used alongside the 14 readings, which are listed in the back for you to use.
There are also digital versions of pictures online for you to use – so helpful!
I’d definitely add this book to your Easter book collection.