Tag: the donkey who carried a king (page 1 of 1)

5 Books to Read Together During Lent

Our church celebrates Ash Wednesday with a simple liturgy read in a shadowy room. We light candles, draw the sanctuary’s chairs into a circle around our pastor, the table, and the ashes, and at the end of the service, file up to our pastor and wait for our turn with the ashes. As he draws a cross in black ash on each brow, the only sound is his voice saying, musically, “Dust you are, and to dust you shall return,” to each of us. Even the children—and a high percentage of our small church body is under the age of five—fall silent for this.

5 Books to Read Together During Lent | Little Book, Big Story

Ash Wednesday leads us into Lent gently but decisively, just as Lent leads us toward Easter with the patience of a farmer sowing seeds. I love Ash Wednesday, though it tends to sneak up on me each year, coming as it does almost on the heels of Christmas. But this year, I got the jump on it: while planning posts for this blog, I saw it on the calendar and thought, “A ha! Not this year, my friend!” This year, I was ready for it. I dug out the Easter books and photographed them for you; I considered Lent with prayer for an entire week before Ash Wednesday.

And I gave thought to how our family would celebrate, which led me to think about how you might like to celebrate with your family. I suspect that, for both of us, a good celebration begins with good books, and with that in mind, I compiled a short list of books for Lent that our family has loved from year to year.


Petookby Caryll Houselander

5 Book to Read Together During Lent | Little Book, Big Story

Houselander tells the story of Easter through a parallel story of a rooster named Petook; Tomie dePaola weaves little details into the illustrations that will surprise you and your little readers. (Read the full review.)


Peter’s First Easterby Walter Wangerin, Jr.

5 Book to Read Together During Lent | Little Book, Big Story

Through the chapters of this picture book, Wangerin puts the reader right in Peter’s shoes, describing his love for Jesus, and his grief as he walks through the events of Holy Week. (Read the full review.)


The Story of Easterby Aileen Fisher

5 Book to Read Together During Lent | Little Book, Big Story

The Story of Easter goes beyond telling the story of Holy Week (though it does that, too) and explains a bit about the traditions and symbols linked to Easter. This is one of my favorites. (Read the full review.)


The Light of the Worldby Katherine Paterson

Though not strictly an Easter book, I love Katherine Paterson’s telling of Jesus’ life and think it perfectly fitting for Lenten reading, as it places Holy Week in a larger context and reminds us of what Christ accomplished on the Cross. (Read the full review.)


The Donkey who Carried a Kingby R. C. Sproul

5 Beautiful Books for Easter | Little Book, Big Story

R. C. Sproul nests the story of the crucifixion within the story of a donkey named Davey. That story is nested, in turn, within the story of a young boy who is picked last for the team. It sounds confusing, but Sproul executes the story-within-a-story trick beautifully. (Read the full review.)


5 Beautiful Books for Easter | Little Book, Big Story

Lastly

These are my top five Easter favorites, but they are not the only Easter books featured on Little Book, Big Story. You can read the other reviews in the Easter section of the blog. I’ll share still more with you during the next few weeks, as a bookish way to observe Lent.


This post originally appeared on this blog in March of 2015.

The Donkey Who Carried a King

If there’s any approach to telling a Bible story that makes me immediately suspicious, it’s the one where an author frames the story within a neat moral. And if there’s any approach to telling a Bible story that means well but often gets things awfully wrong, it’s the one where an author whisks a character off the sidelines and tells the story through that character’s eyes.

And yet, if there’s any author out there who can masterfully wield both of those approaches in the same book, it’s R. C. Sproul, author of countless books  on theology for both children and adults.

In The Donkey Who Carried a King, the previously side-lined character is, obviously, the donkey of Palm Sunday fame. The neat moral is—well, I’ll let you read it for yourself. But it works well with the story, that’s the part I’d like to emphasize. And it’s the sort of moral we want to bring home to our kids.

The Donkey Who Carried a King | Little Book, Big Story

Sproul takes this seemingly unappreciated donkey and uses him to tell a crucial part of The Big Story, reminding us gently that it was precisely the quality that the donkey, Davey, most lamented in himself that made him most suited to carry a king. Chuck Groenick’s illustrations bring a delightful depth to the story as well, amplifying Sproul’s words with color and texture.

We—that is, I—have a penchant for buying books at the slightest provocation (I’ve written about this before), and one of the seasons that brings this penchant to the forefront is Easter, when I often buy a new Easter book or two for our Lenten enjoyment, as well as a new, theologically rich book for each child to open on Easter morning and read all year round.  The Donkey Who Carried a King met both requirements: lately, Sarah has been smitten with two of Sproul’s other books, The Prince’s Poison Cup and The Lightlings, so we picked this one for her, thinking it would make a great year-round reminder of the Cross.

The Donkey Who Carried a King | Little Book, Big Story

In case you missed it: yes, our children get books on Easter morning, plus, like, two pieces of chocolate or something. We have our priorities. And Phoebe, who can’t eat chocolate, will be getting one of these:

Etsy | TreehouseIllustrator
Etsy | TreehouseIllustrator

The Donkey Who Carried a King
R. C. Sproul, Chuck Groenink (2012)