Friday, April 06, 2007

A Favorite Easter Anthology

Michael Hague's Family Easter Treasury is something we pull out every Easter season for our morning family circle time. It is filled with short stories and poetry divided into four categories: A Time of Faith, A Time of Rebirth, A Time of Celebration, and A Time of Love. Michael Hague's illustrations are truly gorgeous; bright and cheerful pastel/watercolors interspersed with more somber, darker selections where appropriate.

Each chapter begins with a gospel narrative of the story of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Two of my favorite short stories include "The Maid of Emmaus" by Alice Sligh Turnbull, and Oscar Wilde's tale entitled "The Selfish Giant". I don't know why that last one affects me the way it does, but year after year I cry when I read it aloud~~and at the same place each time:

Downstairs ran the Giant in great joy, and out into the garden. He hastened across the grass, and came near to the child. And when he came quite close his face grew red with anger, and he said, "Who hath dared to wound thee?" For on the palms of the child's hands were the prints of two nails, and the prints of two nails were on the little feet.

"Who hath dared to wound thee?" cried the Giant, "tell me, that I may take my big sword and slay him."

"Nay," answered the child; "but these are the wounds of Love."

"Who art thou?" said the Giant, and a strange awe fell on him. and he knelt before the little child.

And the child smiled on the Giant, and said to him, "You let me play once in your garden, today you shall come with me to my garden, which is Paradise."

And when the children ran in that afternoon, they found the Giant lying dead under the tree, all covered with white blossoms.

You can read the entire story online here.

Unfortunately, Michael Hague's treasury is out-of-print, but I noticed there were used copies available on Amazon for under $3.00. I think beautiful books like this one create wonderful family memories.


Heidi said...

This looks like a beautiful book. I may have to purchase a used copy off Amazon. Thanks for the review!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I have always loved that story. What a great memory-maker!