Make Room: A Child’s Guide to Lent and Easter

Make-Room a Child's Guide to Lent and EasterFor parents and Christian educators, explaining to children the meaning of Lent and telling them the stories of Holy Week can be challenging. Christmas emphasizes the birth of a baby surrounded by animals and angels. Before you know it, that baby is a grown man who is arrested, put on trial, and condemned to death. It’s tempting to concentrate on Easter Sunday, but children won’t truly understand what happened that day unless they have some understanding of the events that preceded it.

Make Room: A Child’s Guide to Lent and Easter by Laura Alary with illustrations by Ann Boyajian is a wonderful tool adults can utilize to help children see Lent in a positive light and understand the last days of Jesus’ life and his resurrection. The book reads like a poem; the illustrations are beautiful and simple and suit the words of the book.

Most of Make Room is focused on Lent and how Christians make time to be with God during the season. Children learn about prayer and how we talk with God in different ways – with words, music, and colors — as well as how we make silence, read Bible stories, and pay attention to how we live. While acknowledging that making room for God during Lent can be hard, it is also portrayed as a positive action.

During Lent we make space.
We clean our whole house.
We sort our clothes and toys and books
and give away what we do not use.
It is hard at first.
I like my things and I want to keep all of them.
But someone else might need them more than I do.
Besides, I like having space in my room.
It makes me feel lighter.

There are also stories from the life of Jesus including how Jesus went out to the desert to make time for God. The description of Holy Week is simple yet includes all the essentials. The events and the sadness of Good Friday are acknowledged but quickly followed by the joy of Easter morning.

This book could be used in children’s ministry or a family setting; it could even be given as a gift to adults who would enjoy the simple, contemplative feelings it invokes. It is available from Paraclete Press; the list price is $15.99 but right now it is on sale for $11.19. You can also order it from Amazon and other online booksellers.

Paraclete Press provided me with a review copy of this book.

-Debbie Kolacki

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