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Imitating the cadence and rhyme of ‘Twas the Night before Christmas, author Glenys Nellist’s poetic narrative invites children and adults to share the wondrous revelation and surprise that Mary Magdalene and the disciples experienced on the first Easter morning. Readers learn how the lethargy of sleeping guards at Jesus’ tomb, the fearful dreams of the discouraged disciples, and the reverent preparations of Mary Magdalene were upended by an earthquake, a rolled-away stone, and the appearance of the resurrected Christ.

Nellist’s love for the gospel and her understanding of the meaning of Jesus’ resurrection for that day in history and up to the present time are clearly conveyed in the worshipful depth of her writing. About Jesus’ encounter with Mary: “‘Dear Mary, it’s me! It’s Jesus, your friend! \ My story’s just starting—this wasn’t the end!’” About Mary sharing the good news with the disciples: “‘Now Peter, now James, now Thomas, now John! / I went to the cave—Jesus’ body was gone! / But he called me by name—he’s alive! It is true! / It’s a miracle only our great God could do!’” About the implications of Jesus’ resurrection for creation: “Then the trees seemed to dance; birds started to sing. \ All creation joined in to worship the King. / ‘He’s alive, he’s alive!’ the rocks cried in praise. \ The whole earth rejoiced on this day of all days.”

In this marvelous children’s picture book, illustrator Elena Selivanova’s luminescent, radiant artwork complements Glenys Nellist’s compelling, spirited poetry. ’Twas the Morning of Easter clearly articulates the gospel message and would make a great addition to a family’s devotional library. (Zonderkidz)

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