Teach Children that Easter is a Celebration of the Resurrection

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New children’s book abandons secular ideology, remains faithful to biblical details surrounding crucifixion

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Perfect for young readers in the early days of their Lenten resolutions and who may be wondering why Jesus was crucified, what his sacrifice meant and what the joy of Easter is really celebrating

Finally, a story about Easter that isn’t filled with jelly beans and egg-toting bunny rabbits! Just in time for the joyous holiday, the story of the Resurrection is revived for a new generation of readers in a testament of gratitude to Jesus and the ultimate sacrifice he made on the cross in Michael J. Larson’s biblically-based new children’s book, The Easter Sparrow (published by WestBow Press).

One chilly Friday evening, two Sparrows named Chip and Chirp are trying to find refuge from the wind and cold. The only available shelter they can find is a tomb, and Chip doesn’t like the idea of sleeping in it. Chirp assures him that the tomb belongs to Joseph of Arimathea, an honorable, wealthy man often thought to be somewhat of a secret disciple to Jesus Christ. The tomb is brand new and empty, Chirp is certain of it, so he’s able to persuade his companion to join him inside.

The birds settle into stillness and prepare for a night of rest when they are disrupted by a group of people, guided by candlelight, who suddenly fill the tomb. Clearly in mourning, they bring with them the crucified body of Jesus Christ, and Joseph of Arimathea announces, “I had to cut this tomb out of rock for myself, but for now, we need to bury Jesus, the Son of God.”

The body of Jesus is wrapped in linen and laid to rest, and before Chirp and Chip have a chance to leave the burial site, a heavy rock is rolled across the entrance and they are swallowed into darkness. Realizing the gravity of the situation, the two birds fear they may never see the light of day again.

Exhaustion takes over, and the sparrows fall into a deep sleep. A glaring, bright light awakens them, but the entrance to the tomb remains closed. Chirp and Chip are stunned to see Jesus, sitting up and removing his burial linens, assisted by two figures who seemed to have appeared out of nowhere. “I would guess those are angels sent from God to help Jesus,” cries Chirp.

Perfect for young readers in the early days of their Lenten resolutions and who may be wondering why Jesus was crucified, what his sacrifice meant and what the joy of Easter is really celebrating, The Easter Sparrow takes the commercialism out of the holiday and remains faithful to the Bible while telling the story in a simple, lighthearted way that is appropriate for preschool and kindergarten-age children. Accompanied with beautifully detailed, full-color illustrations by Janine Ringdahl Schmidt, The Easter Sparrow is an ideal resource to combat the secular commercialization that threatens to drown out the messages of Jesus’ death, life and resurrection.

About the Author
Michael J. Larson has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in biology from the University of Oklahoma. He taught biology and life science for nearly 40 years and is currently the director of the Bonanza Education Center located in the Big Stone Lake State Park near Beardsley, Minn., working with five area schools to organize and implement educational outdoor learning experiences. Larson is also the author of Nature’s Christmas Story (also published by WestBow Press).

WestBow Press is a strategic self-publishing alliance of Thomas Nelson, the world’s premier Christian publisher, and Author Solutions, Inc. (ASI)—the world leader in the fastest-growing segment of publishing. For more information, visit http://www.westbowpress.com.

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