The First Easter by Rachel Billington, illustrated by Elisa Trimby (Constable, £6.95).
I REMEMBER as a child puzzling over which gospel text was "right". With a black and white sense of logic at an early age, it struck me that one must be correct, and the others at best pale imitations, and probably simply wrong.
Well we all grow older and wiser, I hope. But as Easter approaches once again, a straightforward account of the momentous happenings in Jerusalem, and some direct pointers to their significance, is especially welcome.
Rachel Billington's text is aimed particularly at children, but I have to admit to reading it in one sitting and enjoying it despite my advancing years.
Following the precedent set in her The First Christmas she brings the Gospel texts together, and for a child strips away their dryness to bring the characters into a clearer and more easily understood focus, and the events into chronological sequence.
And if I make it sound rather like an A-Z of Easter then I don't mean to. The text is colourful and alive, and is marvelously complimented by some splendid illustrations by Elisa Trimby which seem to flow into the text, rather than stand apart and separate from it.
Although one of the joys of every child's Holy Saturday morning is the discovery of Easter eggs, usually after a painful dearth of chocolate for Lent, perhaps a copy of the First Easter would be a welcome gift to clear up all those childlike confusions.
Rachel Billington is chairing the judges in the CAFODCatholic Herald Competition for young people. Full details available from either organisation. Closing date April 30.