Simon and the Easter Miracle: A Traditional Tale for Easter

Overview

A picture book retelling of a traditional European tale with the events and meaning of the first Easter at its heart
 

Both thought-provoking and engaging, this is the story of Simon of Cyrene —"a man coming in from the country," as the Gospels refer to him—who was ordered to carry Jesus' cross. Over the centuries, his story has been woven into Polish folklore; when Simon the farmer brings his wares to market, little does he...

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Overview

A picture book retelling of a traditional European tale with the events and meaning of the first Easter at its heart
 

Both thought-provoking and engaging, this is the story of Simon of Cyrene —"a man coming in from the country," as the Gospels refer to him—who was ordered to carry Jesus' cross. Over the centuries, his story has been woven into Polish folklore; when Simon the farmer brings his wares to market, little does he expect how he will be involved in the events of that very special day, nor how his produce—of bread, eggs, and wine—will become important symbols of Jesus' passion and resurrection, remembered throughout the ages.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Beautiful book of prayers."  —School Library Journal on The Lion Book of Day-by-Day Prayers

"This quiet, gentle story fills a need for Easter-themed stories that go beyond bunnies and Easter baskets."  –Kirkus Reviews 

"Joslin uses Christian imagery and simple, elegant prose to flesh out the Gospel's one-line story of Simon of Cyrene"  —School Library Journal

School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Joslin uses Christian imagery and simple, elegant prose to flesh out the Gospel's one-line story of Simon of Cyrene, chosen at random by Roman soldiers to help Jesus carry his cross. Simon is on his way to sell his wine, bread, and eggs at market, trying unsuccessfully to avoid the violent ruckus surrounding the crucifixion. Commanded to help, he puts aside his wares, shoulders the burden, and is touched by Jesus's humble nature. Returning to market, he finds his bread trampled and his wine spilt; there remain a dozen eggs, which he takes home and stores in a shed. So far, the narrative has offered a gentle retelling with some simple symbolism for children to unearth. But the story becomes confusing when later, on Sunday (Easter), Simon returns to the shed to find the eggs broken open and empty (read here: empty tomb), making the unclear statement, "The eggs are…empty. They weren't eggs for hatching." Still curious, he is met with a dozen white doves, their presence somehow alerting him to a miracle. The last page of text continues onto the endpapers, where the warm sun brings an early spring. Readers understand that all of these things are connected to the Resurrection, but the clunky ending doesn't tie any of the images together. Luraschi's drawings are a fine complement to this uneven story. Caryl Houselander's Petook, an Easter Story (Holiday House, 1988) does a better job of illustrating the impact of Jesus on characters who don't know exactly what they have experienced.—Lisa Egly Lehmuller, St. Patrick's Catholic School, Charlotte, NC
Kirkus Reviews
This unusual interpretation of the Easter story focuses not on Jesus, but on Simon of Cyrene, whose story is included in the Synoptic gospels. In simple language and with just a few sentences on each page, the narrative spotlight shines on Simon the farmer as he takes his produce to market on Good Friday. Armed guards in the street order Simon to carry a cross for an unnamed prisoner, who thanks Simon for his assistance. Simon hurries back to the market, with the crucifixion scene shown in the distance against a background of gray clouds. Simon's produce is ruined except for a dozen eggs, which he finds on Sunday morning, broken open and empty. Twelve doves of peace circle over Simon's head, and he recognizes that a miracle must have taken place, though what that is left open to interpretation. The short, touching story, with just an allusion to the cruelty of the crucifixion, can serve as an introduction to the Easter story for younger children. Uncomplicated illustrations in glowing jewel tones are large enough to be seen in a group storytime setting. This quiet, gentle story fills a need for Easter-themed stories that go beyond bunnies and Easter baskets. (Picture book/religion. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745960548
  • Publisher: Lion Hudson
  • Publication date: 1/1/2014
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 643,012
  • Age range: 5 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Joslin is the author of The Lion Book of Best-Loved Prayers, The Lion Book of Day-by-Day Prayers, The Lion Day-by-Day Bible, On That Christmas Night, and The Story of the Cross. Anna Luraschi is the illustrator of numerous books, including Bedtime Rhymes, Twelve Dancing Princesses, and The Usborne Book of Christmas Poems.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2012

    I received a copy of SIMON AND THE EASTER MIRACLE: A TRADITIONAL

    I received a copy of SIMON AND THE EASTER MIRACLE: A TRADITIONAL TALE FOR EASTER by Mary Joslin and Anna Luraschi, from Kregel Publications. This is a picture book, perfect to be read around Easter to expand religious discussions with children. It tells a different side of Easter – the point of view of a farmer, who helped Jesus during his crucifixion.

    The farmer went to market to sell his wares, but the guards forced him to abandon his goods in order to help a man who was about to be crucified. The farmer helped Jesus carry his cross to the hill. When the farmer returned to the market, his produce had been ruined. Saddened, he returned home. However, a miracle occurred and his eggs turned into doves. Maybe. I didn’t really understand the ending. The last page explains that spring came quickly, but I never got the sense that the farmer learned anything. Yes, he was helpful, and the doves rewarded him for that. I assume that is the message.

    The book assumes you know enough about Easter to connect the man with the cross to Jesus. I would prefer the story be more straightforward. The pictures are very colorful, and there are many details you can point out with your child. I am passing the book on to my cousin, that she may enjoy it with her daughter at Easter.

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  • Posted March 26, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Was it a Miracle? My Review: This is a story about Simon of Cy

    Was it a Miracle?


    My Review: This is a story about Simon of Cyrene who was compelled to help Jesus carry His cross as recorded in the bible.

    The Easter miracle that the author is referring to in this book is Simon being blessed with good crops and a harvest after helping Jesus to carry his cross, and not the resurrection of Christ.

    I wish the author mentioned who was carrying the cross and why, therefore the disconnection in the story. The book was beautifully illustrated by Anna Luraschi.


    FTC Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from Kregel Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion in any way.

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  • Posted March 26, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    The Easter Miracle

    This is a sharing of a well known Bible passage. Where Simon is on his way to market, and see's a man carrying his cross. The Roman soldiers make him take this man's cross and carry it to the crucifixion site. When he returns to the goods that he had brought to Market, he finds them all broken and scattered. He returns home dejected.
    While sharing this with our 4 and 6 year old, they became a bit lost in the story. As an adult I was familiar with this it, and although the books is beautifully illustrated, it is missing something.
    With Parental discussion you will be able to bring the full impact of this Easter story down to the Child's understanding.

    I was provided with a copy of this book by Kregal, and was not required to give a positive review.

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