A Child's Guide to Lent and Easter
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While the Advent season is filled with fun and expectations, Lent can be hard for children. It's travels through frightening places, loaded with themes of self-denial and death. How can children approach this season in a way that is meaningful and not frightening?
Make Room presents Lent as a special time for creating a welcoming space for God. Other books offer excellent ideas for going through the Lenten season with children, but Make Room uniquely connects its projects to the story of Jesus.
Simple and practical activities such as baking bread, having a neighbor over for dinner, uncluttering your room, and watching less TV become acts of justice and kindness, part of a life of following and imitating Christ, and a way to make room for God in our lives and in the world around us.
Other books tell the Passion narrative for young readers; this unique book integrates themes of hospitality and self-giving that echo Jesus' ministry, Jesus' entire life.
Make Room invites children to wonder about the story, to encounter Lent with all their senses, and to experience activities in Lent as part of a life of discipleship.
"Children of all ages will come away with a broader understanding of the holy Lenten season and what it means to prepare for the glorious gift of Easter and new life in Christ." -Michelle Thomas-Bush, Big Ideas in Youth Ministry www.bigideasym.com While I realize my daughter will develop her own faith traditions, I want her to be aware of all the various ways she can remember all her Lord and Savior has done for her. This book explains why Lent helps us remember. Taking us through the events of Holy Week, the author explains how all the Lenten traditions we focus on help us "Make Room" for more of Jesus. While the book is simple enough for a child, it unpacks the importance of participating in Lent very well. -Traci Rhoades "The book reveals what is usually hidden: what we knew as penitential is actually life-giving and faith-building. After reading the book to my kids, my five year old daughter exclaimed "I can't wait for Lent! I just can't wait!"-Gary Neal Hansen, Author of Kneeling with Giants: Learning to Pray with History's Best Teachers "Dr. Alary truly respects the child and asks us to walk with them as they point us to Christ. This is a wonderful resource."-Rev. Olivia Stewart, Director of Children & Worship "This is a poetic, practical and theologically wise book for children."-L. Ann Jervis, Professor of New Testament, Wycliffe College, University of Toronto. "Wow, what a wonderful children's book, delightfully illustrated and nicely told. It is an invitation for children to wonder about the Lenten story, helping children to experience Lent with all their senses. I think it is a fine book for almost any kind of Christian."-Byron Borger, Hearts and Minds Books Make Room: A Children's Guide to Lent and Easter was a solid addition to the religious education of our young children. Where many Easter books focus on the resurrection of Christ, this book tenderly and thoughtfully explained the Lenten season with child-appropriate examples of reasonable and realistic ways in which children can observe. With sections on reaching out to help others, giving away extra so that others can have simply enough, and ways to sit in quiet prayer and reflection, this book created room for ongoing thought-provoking questions. Best of all, the book is written in a way that allows the child to see ways in which to meaningfully participate in the process and shift attention away from a season of "I can't have..." to a season of preparation and dedication. Make room on your shelf for this title.-Amy Shaw, Educator Reading Make Room with my two-year old Plum, I delighted to see how Alary makes room for our own conversation within her text, sprinkling pages with I wonder and maybe. I wonder why Jesus went into the desert? I wonder who they thought Jesus was? Ann Boyajian's illustrations are thought-filled and beautiful, making the book feel like a window into an active congregation where the Biblical stories are vividly live. I liked how Alary balances wondering questions with more straightforward teaching. She writes simply and clearly so that small children will be able to understand, but older ones will also be able to find rich material for their own wondering. Intriguingly, Alary makes a point of creating a wide sense of space around both the crucifixion and the resurrection. She does not supply the theological meaning behind either aspect of the story, but rather describes the lived history and experience of Easter and again makes room for us all, whatever our theological understanding, within the story.-Katie Munnik, The Messy Table, Presbyterian Record