The King of Easter (A FatCat Book), Nathasha Kennedy (Art), Todd R. Hains (Text). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2023.
Summary: The story of Easter, focusing on the risen Jesus who seeks and saves the lost.
The latest children’s book in Lexham’s FatCat Books explores the significance of Easter, focusing on the risen Lord Jesus who searches for lost people to bring his life, forgiveness, and salvation. On the first spread, we see Jesus and FatCat at an empty table with the declaration:
Jesus is the King of Easter! He finds who is lost. Who is lost, he saves
On each succeeding spread we see one or more New Testament characters beginning with Mary, the mother of Jesus, John the Baptist, Matthew, the children, Zacchaeus, Lazarus, Mary Magdalene, the thief and the centurion at the cross, Peter, and Saul. After identifying them, the text asks:
did the King of Easter find and save him/her/them? Yes!
As each is found and saved by Jesus, they join the entourage of those following Jesus. The narrative concludes with “you” and the joyous news that the King of Easter finds and saves us, with all of us gathered at that once empty table, with Jesus–and FatCat!
Once again Natasha Kennedy provides the lush artwork and Todd R. Hains the text in this beautifully illustrated book designed for families to talk together about what Easter really means. I do have one small observation about the artwork. Jesus, while darkly complected, which is culturally accurate, also seems unnaturally skinny with a long, thin face (and a halo), unlike most of the other male characters. We don’t know what Jesus looked like but I wouldn’t mind a portrayal of a hearty, robust construction worker or carpenter–a workingman.
Each of the books in this series is written and designed for family worship with the conviction that “families are little churches.” The last pages of the book include pictures of each of the people in the story and where they appear in the biblical text, guided prayer for use in family devotions, and a “To Parents” section summarizing the message of the story.
The focus of the story is Jesus’s saving work, his initiative to seek and to save the lost. The response of those who follow (everyone in the story) is assumed. Unlike many presentations of the gospel, this centers entirely on the gracious and powerful work of Jesus to save. For children, it strikes me that this tremendously assuring–there is no question of them wondering if they have been good enough or believed enough. He has found and saved everyone in the story–including you!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher.