The Easter Story

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Once, a long time ago, a little donkey was brought to Jesus. The little donkey had never been ridden before, but Jesus spoke gently to him, and soon he stopped being afraid. Jesus climbed onto the donkey’s back, and they set off for Jerusalem…

In clear, reverent language and shining gold-toned paintings, award-winning author/illustrator Brian Wildsmith creates this companion book to his earlier A Christmas ...

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Once, a long time ago, a little donkey was brought to Jesus. The little donkey had never been ridden before, but Jesus spoke gently to him, and soon he stopped being afraid. Jesus climbed onto the donkey’s back, and they set off for Jerusalem…

In clear, reverent language and shining gold-toned paintings, award-winning author/illustrator Brian Wildsmith creates this companion book to his earlier A Christmas Story. With an enchantingly simple perspective that will engage even the very youngest child, Wildsmith offers a splendid new version of the greatest story ever told.

The story of the last days of Jesus' life, the crucifixion, and the resurrection, as seen through the eyes of a small donkey.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Wildsmith's paintings steal the show. Combining a bright palette with generous gold accents, the art is warm and reverent — almost radiantly joyful.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Wildsmith has masterfully condensed and simplified the Passion, Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ for young readers, and provided luminous paintings as accompaniment in his latest picture book. The child-friendly text describes seminal events, as when Jesus rides a faithful donkey into Jerusalem and celebrates the Last Supper with friends. Although the miracles depicted here hold particular significance for Christians, all readers can appreciate Wildsmith's gently rendered artwork and its judiciously applied metallic paints. Expansive scenes of the Holy Land sites are awash in soft watercolors and often flecked with gold. Hovering winged angels and throngs of people wear brilliant, multicolored garments. An ornate purple and gold spread in the Garden of Gethsemane is especially stunning. This sumptuous volume serves well as an introduction to the Bible and also allows room for private interpretation. Ages 4-8. (Mar . )
Children's Literature
Esteemed author/illustrator Brian Wildsmith tells The Easter Story from the perspective of a humble donkey that carried Jesus Christ through the stirring week from Palm Sunday to the Crucifixion to the Resurrection. The simple text, animal point of view, and beautiful, gold-toned paintings convey the drama of these historic events in language and image sure to resonate with children. 2000, Eerdmans. Ages 3 to 8. Reviewer: Mary Quattlebaum
Children's Literature - Laura Hummel
Often called the greatest story ever told, the dramatic tragedy of Jesus's last days and death, are passionately told with a new engaging perspective. A shy little donkey carries Jesus and remains with him throughout the book. Even very young children will enjoy searching for the donkey and the vibrant angel on each double page illustration. The artwork is breathtaking, begging to be scrutinized again and again! Gold tones invite the reader to a focal point and splashes of vivid color stir the senses. The donkey proudly carries Jesus to Jerusalem, peers through a window at the last supper, and remains alert as others slept in the garden of Gethsemane. Unfortunately, the animal is unable to help his friend carry the cross, but is there to transport Jesus's body to the tomb. The Ascension literally lifts of the page with angels garbed in stained-glass colors. Wildsmith "decided that the best way of expressing this epic drama was to treat it like grand opera." The book definitely hits the high notes, making one's soul sing! 2000 (orig.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-The events of Holy Week are viewed by a little donkey who carries Jesus into Jerusalem among waving palms and excited onlookers. He watches the cleansing of the Temple, peers through a window at the Last Supper, waits in the Garden of Gethsemane, and then follows the prisoner to Caiaphas's house and Pilate's court and along the Via Dolorosa to the Crucifixion. He bears Jesus's body to the garden tomb and then witnesses the Resurrection and Ascension before returning to his home. These essentials are told rather sketchily but adequately in a simple text, but the focus is on the huge panoramic double-page spreads lit by sumptuous greens, purples, blues, and reds and highlighted in gleaming gold. The city, rising starkly on its hill, is the walled, arched, and domed Jerusalem of Crusader times. The stylized figures of the angels, soldiers, followers of Jesus, and curious onlookers are splendidly and vividly costumed; and each scene is full of action and detail. The effect of regal splendor and beauty is tied to everyday life by the presence of the wistful, bewildered little donkey who gazes astounded at the events both cruel and celestial. This is a completely different treatment from Elizabeth Winthrop's He Is Risen (Holiday, 1985), also magnificently but realistically illustrated by Charles Mikolaycak and using a more Biblical text.-Patricia Pearl Dole, formerly at First Presbyterian School, Martinsville, VA
Elizabeth Bush
Employing a rich palette of jewel tones and metallic golds, Wildsmith offers an opulent and symbol-laden visual re-creation of Jesus' last days. The actual retelling (with the superfluous and ineffective addition of a donkey who witnesses the events) is simplified, yet faithful to the biblical account. But it is the artwork, not the text, that conveys the passion of the story, which Wildsmith treats "like grand opera." Gethsemane is a riotous garden of purple and gold, textured more as drapery than foliage. The great stone walls of Jerusalem loom ominously over human figures. Even the stone tomb with its altarlike slab is framed as a proscenium arch. Throughout the drama, the figure of Jesus remains relatively small, set against huge and detailed backdrops. Yet he is never overwhelmed by his setting; Jesus is carefully framed by open space, within tightly arched trees, doors, and windowframes, or amid the sweeping oval of a colonnade. After death and burial, a larger, transfigured image of Jesus dominates its setting with a translucent and ethereal quality that underscores the mysteries of the Resurrection and the Ascension. A first choice for the Easter collection.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802851895
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 1/28/2000
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 668,277
  • Age range: 4 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.74 (w) x 12.33 (h) x 0.35 (d)

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