Songs of the Morning: Stories and Poems for Easter was compiled by Pat Alexander and includes excerpts from the writings of C. S. Lewis, E. B. White, Dickens and others, some (mostly poems) written by children. I had bought it ages ago from a clearance section, put it on my shelf, noticed it it off and on through the years, and kept forgetting about it at Easter time. Finally this year I remembered to pull it out in the weeks preceding Easter. I like to read something devotional pertaining to Easter during that time, and while this wasn’t that exactly, it was both pleasant and beneficial.
I don’t think I realized, or I had forgotten, that it was geared primarily to children, probably the same age as those who would be able to read the Narnia series. But adults can gain from it, too.
I like that it couches the Easter story within historical context. The first section is “How It All Began” and begins with a short excerpt from a children’s Bible about God creating the world and sin entering in (Pat Alexander also wrote The Lion’s Children’s Bible, which I had not heard of before this, so I don’t know how well it expresses Biblical truth, but the excerpts I read here were fine). Then there are Narnia excerpts about the founding of Narnia and the White Witch and a couple of other sources to further illustrate those truths.
Other sections follow a similar pattern and focus on the birth of Christ, the triumphal entry on Palm Sunday, the crucifixion, and the resurrection. There’s also a section of “The Greatest Love,” with several historical and story illustrations of sacrificial love (like Sydney Carton’s in A Tale of Two Cities and a story about a boy’s dog risking its life to save the boy’s), one called “It’s All Right,” dealing with how new life in Christ should affect our lives in practical terms, like forgiveness of others, and a final one called “A New Beginning.”
The stories come from a variety of countries. Some are old, some are new. Some are from adults’ work, some from children’s books. Some are fun, some are serious. Pat did a fine job putting all these sources together. It doesn’t look like the book is in print any more, but there are copies that can be purchased online, or perhaps you can keep an eye out for it at library sales and such.
(This review will also be linked to Semicolon‘s Saturday Review of Books.)