Easter Eggs for Anya – A Ukrainian Celebration of New Life in Christ
Illustrated by: Sally Wern Comport
Published by: Zonderkidz (January 23, 2007)
Age: 4 – 7 years
Series: Traditions of faith from around the World
Theme: Faith, Hope and belief, creative
Opening lines: Anya crept to her “praying place” under the hay wagon and pulled her skirts around her for warmth. Even though it was time for spring to spread its sunshine over the Ukraine, the wind was still wintry and the sky was slate-gray.
Synopsis: from the front flap – A Ukrainina Easter celebration involves the exchanging of colourful, hand-decorated psanky eggs, but this year, with Papa away at the war and Mama struggling to make ends meet, Anya’s family is too poor to buy eggs to decorate. That is, until Anya discovers an abandoned nest of goose eggs, and begins planning an Easter surprise for her family. But God has an even better surprise in store, and Anya son learns what the Easter story teaches; spring brings gifts of myriad new beginnings, just as the risen Christ gave the gift of new life to us all.
The Traditions of Faith series illustrates how Christian holiday customs have evolved around the world. Each includes an author’s note about the history of the tradition, and ideas and activities to adopt into one’s own family celebrations.
Why I like this: I was so drawn to the beautiful soft textured illustrations of this book. The story itself is intriguing, warm and simple. Little Anya wants to continue the tradition of giving beautiful hand decorated Easter Eggs to her family. Nature takes a hand and she comes across geese eggs left in a nest. After taking them home Anya soon learns that things don’t always work out the way you expected. Sometimes the unexpected can be even better and a surprise twist at the end makes this an aww… moment. I know you will want to read this again. I did! Being a lover of historical fiction I just loved this one.
Virginia Kroll is the author of over fifty books for children and winner of a 2004 Children’s Choice award. A former elementary school teacher, she lives in New Your with her husband and has six children of her own. Virginia is the first to say that inspiration for her stories come from her children and the many animals she has living at her home and her everyday life.
Sally Wern Comport has been an illustrator for advertising and institutional works for many years before turning her hand to children’s books. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two children.
Resources/Findings: Here is a lovely interview with Virginia http://www.childrenslit.com/childrenslit/mai_kroll_virginia.html
With Easter around the corner, now is the time to remember the celebration of Easter, like Anya the joy of giving, like spring it is the beauty of new life and a new world. Time to make those decorative Easter eggs, hats, and cards.
Decorating Easter Eggs Craft for kids…. http://www.kidspot.com.au/Easter-Crafts-How-to-decorate-Easter-eggs+4860+162+article.htm
Easter crafts for kids… http://spoonful.com/easter/easter-crafts
Here are some cute Easter crafts for young kids…. http://www.ivillage.ca/parenting/easy-crafts-children/easter-crafts-activities-toddlers-kids-15-cute-easy-ideas-bunnies-egg
Pop over and visit the lovely author, Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books. Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with books reviewed by many authors.
What a touching book. My little one loves making easter eggs. Thanks so much for sharing this early, so I may find it before Easter.
Thank you Stacy, I thought I would share it now…. It’s always nice to get things ready a little earlier for the holiday period… and having things such as crafts, gifts, books and food ready is ideal to making it a special time. Happy Easter in advance!
My Russian grandfather fled to the Ukraine, then to America. We never did Pysanky, but we loved decorating eggs when we were kids. Thanks for this lovely choice.
Your very welcome Joanne. We visited Russia many years ago a very intriguing country and I will never forget. I love the customs of other countries!
I love Ukrainian eggs… one year we tried making some & it took lots and lots and lots of patience. What a topical book, with Ukraine in the news so much. A good way to tie traditions (and a book) to the news our kids hear at the dinner table.
Hi Sue, I have never tried making these eggs. Would love to sometime. Yes, when I got this book from the library I was not actually thinking of what is on in the news, mainly I just loved the traditions of other cultures that are weaved into stories for our young ones to learn. It’s a beautiful book.
When I saw this title, I knew it was yours. A beautiful story to share in the spring and near Easter. I love Ukranian and Russian decorated eggs! I can only guess at what the surprise is at the end.
And I like Sue’s comment about the book being timely with so much in the news about the Ukraine. Great idea!
Thank you so much, Pat. So glad you liked it…haha… loved you knew it was me. I am such a sucker for endearing historical fiction. Just clicking on Ukrainian eggs images treats you to a sea of exquisite designs. Timely, yes, although I was not thinking of the significance at the time when I came across it. You’ll have to read the book to find out the ending. You will love it!
That cover just glows! I have a friend who has all the equipment for making psanky eggs, but she is out of town this year – bummer for me! I’ll definitely be looking for this!
Oh, that’s a shame, Julie. Hopefully you will locate this gorgeous book with it’s special message and hopefully make some decorative eggs of your own. Isn’t the cover just glowing. All the best and have fun, Happy Easter Julie.
Happy Easter to you too!
I’ll have to google Psanky because I don’ t know what it is. But I have seen Russian and Ukrainian eggs and they are beautiful.
I like the comments above of tieing this book in with the Ukrain in the news so much. 🙂
Hi Clar, aren’t the eggs gorgeous. I have never heard of Psanky either, before this book. Timely, indeed. Thanks and have a great week leading up to Easter.
Oh! What a lovely book! I’ve been on the lookout for Easter books with a different twist on things. This sounds perfect. Thanks for sharing! And the fun ideas for crafts!
Oh you are so welcome, Rhythm. Hopefully you manage to pick it up and have fun with the crafts. Thanks!
What beautiful illustrations. I love the way the light illuminates Anya’s face on the cover.
They are gorgeous, Kirsten. Enjoy! Happy Easter!
I have been to the Ukraine but did not know this tradition, so thank you!
Hi Joanna, I have been to Russia and while I was aware of their delicate paintwork I can’t remember the eggs, either. Isn’t it wonderful coming across such beautiful traditions. Glad you like this. Happy Easter in advance!
A timely choice given all the Ukraine is going through this year.
Yes, thanks Wendy. It is timely! Hoping you have a great week leading up to Easter.
What a perfect book for Easter. Psaky eggs are truly beautiful and this story sounds very heart warming. I hope you and your family had a wonderful Easter.
Thank you Darlene. We did. Hope yours was just as lovely.