Molly is excited about Easter! She gets to go to Aunt Jenny’s house and search for plastic Easter eggs hidden in the barn!
But something is BACKWARDS this year. What will happen? Will she learn more about Jesus and about how much He loves us?
Meadow Rue Merrill’s latest Lantern Hill Farm children’s book--THE BACKWARDS EASTER EGG HUNT—is now available from Hendrickson Publishers. This delightful bound book (also available as a board book) will excite young readers and will thrill parent and grandparent readers with its clever story, its vivid illustrations, its opportunity to teach the Christian message, and with its focus on children being participants in the story but not the point of it.
The point is God’s great love for us all, the kind of love which, in Molly’s thoughts, “makes you brand new and sparkly, too.”
I had been delighted with the book myself and so I deputized my oldest granddaughter as my test reader. She’s seven (ALMOST EIGHT!), and she’s an expressive reader. She had loved Merrill’s first Lantern Hill Farm book, THE CHRISTMAS CRADLE, which introduced the same characters—Molly, Baby Charlie, Mama and Papa, Aunt Jenny and Uncle Gerry, and friends—when it appeared last year. (Three additional Lantern Hill Farm books are slated to appear this year.)
When I handed my granddaughter THE BACKWARDS EASTER EGG HUNT, she was excited to have a new story about Molly. One of her comments to me about the Christmas book had been a thrilled interjection as she read it the first time, last fall, and was almost all the way through—“Grandpa, they already know about Jesus!”
I smiled. This time, I was certain, my granddaughter would find that Aunt Jenny already knew the real story—and she would help Molly and the other children discern for themselves—the real story of Easter. And that is what happened.
She handed the book back. “How did you like it, sweetie?” “I LOVE it!”
I handed the book to my second reader, my oldest grandson, at six. He snuggled into my lap, gathered his next younger sister, at almost 4, and he did a good job reading the story to us—except for words like though and through, which certainly no one should be required to sound out.
My youngest grandson liked the book, too. He's one-and-a-half. He chewed on a corner of the book meditatively it for a bit and then tossed it away and went to build a block tower.
Meadow Merrill grew up on a farm in Oregon and now lives with her husband and children on a farm in Midcoast Maine. She is an experienced journalist with many credits and is the author of the award-winning inspirational memoir REDEEMING RUTH.
My friend Meadow and I were writing our memoirs at the same time, each of us trying to find a few hours here and there, and each of us enjoying life on the coast of Maine. My memoir was published and gained some attention, and I determined to do what I could to help promote REDEEMING RUTH...which is magnificently done as a memoir, deserving of its own awards.