[This is a repost of a 2007 post.]
A young girl dreams of a magical journey on the back of a fawn in a picture book that’s been a holiday favorite for more than 60 years
A Tale for Easter. By Tasha Tudor. Aladdin, 32 pp., $5.99, paperback. Ages 4–8.
By Janice Harayda
This classic picture book is a kind of Easter counterpart to The Polar Express, though it has a smaller format than Chris Van Allsburg’s Christmas fable. Generations preschoolers and other young children have delighted in Tasha Tudor’s sentimental tale of a girl who, on the night before the holiday, dreams of taking a magical journey on the back of a “wee fawn” that shows her “rabbits smoothing their sleek coats,” lambs “in fields of buttercups” and other gentle creatures of the season.
A two-time Caldecott Honor artist, Tudor uses second-person narration and soft watercolors to show Easter through the eyes of girl who lived at around the time of the Civil War, to judge by her Little Women-ish dresses and bonnet. Tudor sets the tone early: “You never can tell what might happen on Easter. You’re not always sure when it is coming, even though you go to Sunday school … it is only when Good Friday comes, and you have hot cross buns for tea that you know for certain Easter will be the day after tomorrow.” And while a story this sweet won’t appeal to everybody, Tudor has following among all ages, including many adults. And A Tale for Easter is so widely available that you may be able to find in bookstores and libraries at the last minute.
Recommended if … you’re looking for a picture book that evokes the magic of a season of rebirth without getting into Christian theology. A Tale for Easter may especially appeal to a child who sees herself as a “girly-girl.”
Published: 1941 (first edition), January 2004 (Aladdin paperback reprint).
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© 2008 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.