This unusual interpretation of the Easter story focuses not on Jesus, but on Simon of Cyrene, whose story is included in the Synoptic gospels.
In simple language and with just a few sentences on each page, the narrative spotlight shines on Simon the farmer as he takes his produce to market on Good Friday. Armed guards in the street order Simon to carry a cross for an unnamed prisoner, who thanks Simon for his assistance. Simon hurries back to the market, with the crucifixion scene shown in the distance against a background of gray clouds. Simon’s produce is ruined except for a dozen eggs, which he finds on Sunday morning, broken open and empty. Twelve doves of peace circle over Simon’s head, and he recognizes that a miracle must have taken place, though what that is left open to interpretation. The short, touching story, with just an allusion to the cruelty of the crucifixion, can serve as an introduction to the Easter story for younger children. Uncomplicated illustrations in glowing jewel tones are large enough to be seen in a group storytime setting.
This quiet, gentle story fills a need for Easter-themed stories that go beyond bunnies and Easter baskets. (Picture book/religion. 3-6)