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In this engaging, beautifully illustrated Lenten and Easter devotional, author Glenys Nellist once again imitates the familiar rhythm of Clement C. Moore’s classic poem, ’Twas the Night Before Christmas, to relate the truth of the gospel and to help children and their families grow in faith. Her earlier books in a similar format include ’Twas the Evening of Christmas, ’Twas the Morning of Easter, and ‘Twas the Season of Advent.

Nellist explains that Lent consists of the 40 days in which “we wait for Easter to come. And as we wait, we get ready—to grow and change, to listen to God, to ask questions, to think about the choices we make, to try to put God first.”

Each of the devotions includes a Scripture reading, a reflection, and a prayer. The reflections are based on stories from the gospels in which Jesus talked about God and showed people how to respond to God’s grace. Nellist points out that readers’ journeys through Lent might be similar to the journey the disciples took with Jesus in which they struggled to understand who he was and what his mission entailed. Nellist assures her young and older audience of God’s presence: “As we journey, we can know that God is with us ... helping us to listen, welcoming our questions, listening as we pray, showing us how to love others, and helping us find ways to put God first. And even if we don’t know it, we will be growing closer to Jesus, and changing as God works in our lives.”

Whether a family has previously observed Lent or not, Nellist’s and illustrator Elena Selivanova’s latest collaboration has much to offer. It serves as an introduction to the Lenten season and practices, as well as a resource to help families to continue to grow in their understanding of what Jesus’ passion, death, and resurrection mean for Christians today. (Zonderkidz)

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