We are so excited that Easter is in just a couple of short weeks! I volunteer my time on Wednesday afternoons, co-teaching a children's music class at my church, to a group of adorable 3-5 year-olds. We have been working on Palm Sunday and Easter themed songs for weeks, and in just another week and a half from now, they'll be finishing up the program for this year, by making their very own musical egg shakers. We're ready for Easter as far as church goes, but my household is another story. I sometimes put our own traditions on the back burner, because of our heavy involvement in church activities, but this year, that's all about to change, with the addition of a very special Easter book, to our book collection.
I was thrilled for the opportunity to connect with Ideals Books, a Guideposts company, featuring family friendly books for children. Ideals Books publishes about 25 new titles every year, and aims to promote Christian education by connecting faith and life. This year, we were introduced to one of these new titles, called The Sparkle Egg: A Symbol of the True Promise of Easter. This book sounded like it was a wonderful fit for our family, and we were excited to receive it!
The Sparkle Egg, written by Jill Hardie and Illustrated by Christine Kornacki
My first impression of The Sparkle Egg book, just from looking at it, was that it was beautifully created. Not only are the illustrations gorgeous, but the cover is touch and feel, with raised embellishments on the sparkle egg, for children to explore with their hands.
Beautiful message to the reader from the author!
I wanted to give the book a read through by myself first. I know that a lot of parents first read whatever they think their child(ren) might be interested in, before handing it over to the child. I just wanted to make sure that my three-year-old would be able to enjoy the book, without it going too over his head.
The Story of the Sparkle Egg quickly begins to unfold...
The Sparkle Egg tells the story of a young boy named Sam, who tells a little lie to his parents, regarding a test score he received in school. When Sam and his parents visit the school's open house, his parents learn from Sam's teacher that he didn't do as well as Sam lead them to believe on his test. Sam's parents explain their disappointment, Sam apologizes for his lie, and still feels ashamed of himself.
After Sam gets home from school one afternoon, his mother has all of the preparations made for decorating Easter eggs, one of the family's favorite traditions (it's one of ours, too!). Sam's mother introduces a new tradition- decorating a sparkle egg. Sam enjoys decorating the egg, making it so beautiful that it sparkles and shines. After decorating the egg, Sam is instructed to write down something that he is ashamed of on a slip of paper, and then to place it inside of the sparkle egg. Sam, of course, writes down the lie that he told to his parents.
Sam places the gold star drawing inside his sparkle egg...
On Easter Sunday morning, Sam opens up his sparkle egg, and finds it empty- his slip of paper is gone! The idea behind the sparkle egg, is that our sins are erased, because Jesus died on the cross to save each and every one of us! Just like that, Sam's sin vanished, because he asked for forgiveness.
'A touching story that uses the powerful yet accessible symbol of an empty egg to demonstrate the concept of complete forgiveness. The Sparkle Egg is a tool which will help readers and their families start a new Easter tradition.'
B, ready to read The Sparkle Egg for the first time, with mommy.
B enjoyed looking at the beautifually illustrated pictures while I read the story to him.
As we read the story together, I stopped and asked B some simple questions- about right and wrong, explaining what a lie is, and how it can hurt someone else, even when we think it can't. Trying to explain the Easter story to young children isn't always easy, so this book is a wonderful tool! B was intrigued by the sparkle egg, and noted how pretty it was. We talked about why Sam placed the paper inside, and how it disappeared on Easter Sunday, after Jesus died on the cross, and rose from the grave. B has asked to read The Sparkle Egg dozens of times since we received it, and I love reading it to him so much! I can't wait until we make our very own special sparkle eggs with the other little boys and girls in our weekday church school program next week!
Details of The Sparkle Egg
Written by Jill Hardie
Illustrated by Christine Kornacki
Hardcover with jacket, 10 x 10, 32 pages
ages 4 to 8
Instructions for making your very own sparkle eggs...
We have not made our sparkle egg yet, because we will be making these with the 3-5 yeear-olds at church next week. I loved the idea behind this so much, that I thought it would be wonderful to share with the children on their last day of the church school program, the day they have their Easter party. Each child wil decorate their own plastic egg in our music class, their very own sparkle egg. We will fill the eggs with rice to make them into musical shakers, but we'll also be sending home instructions for the sparkle egg activity with the parents, so they can all begin a new sparkle egg tradition at home!
Our family has been blessed by this beautiful story, and we are very thankful to have this special new Easter tradition to enjoy and share with others!
I also received a special surprise- Ideals Magazine: Mother's Day Edition!
Beautiful story and photo in the Ideals Mother's Day Edition...
Touching poems and photographs...
This special Mother's Day issue celebrates motherhood with heartwarming stories about and by mothers, poetry and quotations that will warm the hearts of mothers, and recipes to enjoy or share. The text is accompanied by beautiful, full-color photographs and fine art reproductions.
Either one of these wonderful titles from Ideals Books would make beautiful gifts for someone special in your life!
Want It? Buy It!
Visit the official Ideals website for more information, or to purchase your own copy of The Sparkle Egg. You can also connect with Ideals on Facebook, or share your special Sparkle Egg stories by tweeting, using #ShareAMoment.
Want It? Win It!
One lucky MBP reader will win their very own copy of The Sparkle Egg! This giveaway is open to US residents, 18 and older. Just use the handy dandy Rafflecopter entry form below to enter for your chance to win!
Special thanks to Ideals Books for allowing our family to experience a very special new Easter tradition, and for offering this special giveaway for our readers!