*He is Risen: Rocks Tell the Story of Easter by Patti Rokus

A beautiful, artistic representation of the story of Easter using rocks set against a black backdrop. Starred review for He is Risen.

*He is Risen: Rocks Tell the Story of Easter by Patti Rokus. Zondervan, 2019. 32 pages.

Reading Level: Picture books, ages 4-8

Recommended For: All ages as a read aloud

Most children are fascinated by rocks. Rock painting, rock collecting, rock “pictures”–it’s hard to go for a walk with a child in a rocky place without suddenly noticing all the rocks!

Patti Rokus exhibits a similarly enchanted view of rocks in He is Risen, using rocks to capture scenes from Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection. Each spread is set against a black background, and both the color and shape of the rocks used in each scene adds to the overall effect. A simple, straightforward text accompanies each scene along with a Bible verse.

From He Is Risen

One quibble: there are some discrepancies from the biblical narrative in the service of storytelling. For instance, mention of Jesus’s betrayal happens before the Last Supper. All in all, though, the events are nicely grouped and portrayed. The book is a wonderful tool in explaining the events leading up to and including Easter, particularly for those who want a book without pictures of Jesus (unless you count a rock sculpture as a picture of Jesus–there are no painted faces or anything of that sort in the book). Aside from a blanket statement that “we will all live again because He conquered death,” the gospel is presented clearly and with great joy.

Toss those books with cheesy, saccharine images (particularly if they contain Easter eggs or bunnies!), and pick up this one instead for a rich contemplation of the mystery and joy of Easter. After all, Scripture tells us that even the rocks will cry out! Highly recommended.

Cautions: none

Overall Rating: 5 (out of 5)

  • Worldview Rating: 5
  • Artistic Rating: 5

*indicates starred review; pictures from amazon

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Betsy is the Managing Editor at Redeemed Reader. When she reads ahead for you, she uses sticky notes instead of book darts and willfully dog ears pages even in library books. Betsy is a fan of George MacDonald, robust book discussions, and the Oxford comma. She lives with her husband and their three children in the beautiful Northwest.

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