HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Easter Bunny, Are You For Real?
Author: Harold Lawrence Myra
Illustrator: Jane Kurisu
Publisher: Thomas Nelson, republished in 2006
ISBN-13: 978-0849914935 (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0849914930 (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-1400307067 (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 1400307066 (Paperback
ISBN-13: 978-1400306329 (Board book)
ISBN-10: 1400306329 (Board book)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 3 and up
Rating: 4 stars (GOOD)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Myra, Harold Lawrence. Easter Bunny, Are You For Real? (originally published in 1979 and reprinted in 1998 by Thomas Nelson). When our boys were learning to read, we liked to check seasonal-related books to accompany their studies about holidays and to give them extra practice reading. In this one, two children learn about the origins of the Easter bunny, Easter eggs, Easter Parades, and other symbols and customs associated with Easter. Since children see animated characters, hear silly stories, and shout with glee in egg hunts during the spring “holiday” season, this book is designed to help parents to teach their children see beyond the commercialism and grasp the true meaning of Easter that Christ is risen indeed. Although we firmly believe the Biblical account of Christ’s resurrection, our family does not observe Easter as a religious holy day. However, we wanted our boys to know about the background of the holiday and the fact that many people do celebrate it in commemoration of Christ’s resurrection.
“The Easter Bunny has nothing to do with the real Easter. The Easter Bunny–along with new leaves and flowers and new baby kittens and baby chicks–is part of how we celebrate spring. But that’s all. Spring is God’s picture of Jesus rising from the dead as all of nature comes to life again.” One person strongly objected to the book because “the first page says that bunnies are ‘bad.’” But another person responded, “The reader…did not read beyond the first two pages. Although a young child does point to the Easter Bunny and say ‘bad bunny,’ we quickly learn this is because he’s overhead adults saying something to that effect. His parents, however, tell him the Easter Bunny is NOT bad…then go on to explain how secular and Christian traditions evolved and how they can live harmoniously side by side.” The book does a good job at separating the traditional trappings and commercialism of Easter from what the religious world sees as its true meaning.
Obviously, those who wish to eliminate all religious connections to Easter would want to avoid this book. However, even though we personally do not observe Easter as a religious celebration, we do see the benefit of making a distinction between the secular and the sacred as it pertains to the resurrection of Christ, and this book served as an excellent springboard to explain to our children why we believe as we do. One reviewer observed that the book has been around for a while because he remembered growing up with a copy back in the late 70s. The usual date given for the book is 1998, but I found a reference to a “Snippet view” from 1979, and another to the 1998 edition as a reprint. Author Harold Myra served as the CEO of Christianity Today International for 32 years. Other similar books for children by him include Santa, Are You For Real?, Halloween: Is It for Real?, and Thanksgiving: What Makes It Special?