Book Review of Easter in Autumn by Collette Leenman

9780473124601Review by Silvia Lehmann – This is a thin little book that is easy to read from cover to cover. Collette Leenman lives in New Zealand, and this is one of the best books I’ve seen in combining the European traditions of a Christian festival with the inverted seasons we have here in the southern hemisphere.

There are great suggestions in this book for celebrating all the three different days of Easter, and lent as well. There are recipes, lots of craft suggestions (with good instructions), stories, and also wonderful ideas for celebrating the symbolism of Easter through watching the moon, making an Easter egg hunt, filling an ‘empty nest’, and making a puppet show.

Review by Silvia Lehmann – I like it very much that the author stresses that it would be too much to try and make or follow all these suggestions in the book, but rather to see them as inspiration for what you might like to include into your own family traditions around Easter time. The book has an uncompromising Christian approach in the writing though, which might be a little hard going if you’re not Christian. Still, there are some wonderful craft ideas combining natural materials around in autumn with the transformational qualities of the hare, the egg and the caterpillar/butterfly. The caterpillar story on page 18 is a beautiful, and non-denominational, story that all children would love as an Easter or autumn story.

My own kids, though we’re not practising a particular religion, get very excited by festivals like Easter and Christmas. In this book there are really fabulous ways to bring the spiritual subtext of Easter to the fore. This book is available at the Golden Hill Steiner School library.

There is another thing I really like about the book – the idea of taking a colour scheme that fits into the local southern hemisphere season and use what you see around you in your local garden, park, beach, or school grounds. There is a colour wheel at the beginning of the book with suggestions for colour schemes that fit the seasons, and there’s scope to take some of these suggestions for autumn and Easter and play with transforming them for other significant festivals – like a summer colour scheme for Christmas…!

Click here for the link to Collette Leenman’s facebook page.

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