Thursday, March 24, 2011

Petook: Symbols of Easter in Nature

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They're little birds sitting on their nests...can you see it?

My friend Kimberly made these and brought them over with a bunch of other fun Easter ideas for us (*and you readers) to enjoy.  Granted, this photo wasn't taken when they were first made, but they still look super great...and just like a birdie sitting on a nest.

I chose to pair this lovely little treat with our family's reading of the book Petook:  written by Caryll Houselander and illustrated by Tomie dePaola. (Love him!)

Petook is a rooster who proudly watches over his little family of chicks, when one day the young boy Jesus observes Petook's wife Martha as she gathers her chicks under her wings.

Years later, this "lovely little boy," now the man Jesus, would remember Martha and her chicks when he said, "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often would I have gathered you under my wings as the hen gathers her chicks, and you would not."

Petook unwittingly notices that all of nature seems hushed upon Christ's death.  But on the third day Petook hears the world awakening again when he hears his own baby chicks trying to break out of their eggs.  Petook rejoices in this emerging new life, and instinctively, Petook crows to wake the world on that precious Easter morning.  

I love this paragraph from the book, "Yes.  Petook heard that, and he heard life everywhere, tapping softly, knocking softly to get out, to come out of the dark into the light, out of silence into sound, out of death into life:  bird and beast and seed in the earth and bud on the tree.  Petook heard all that when the chickens tapped to get out."

The more that I ponder the sweet, simplicity of this story, the more that I love it, and the more that I love the symbols that I associate with Easter:  new life breaking out of its shell, seeds emerging from darkness to nourish the world, flowers blooming and turning toward the sun, chickens gathering their little ones around them, sunrises signaling a new start for each and every one of us, every day of our lives.

As my sister mentioned, all things truly testify of Christ, if we let them.  The following image contains the words of Tomie dePaola explaining why he chose to illustrate this story:

I love to rejoice with my children and family in the birth, rebirth, and resurrection and the things we can learn from all of God's creations about the miracle of Christ's sacrifice for each of us.

You can find the recipe for these little birdie treats here.

Here are some of the posts that you might have missed from our Easter Blog Party.

My Flowers From a Hundred Cribs Will Peep and Prance Again


  1. more wonderful ideas...I almost wish I had little ones around to try them out...maybe I can send some of these Easter books to my grandchildren!

  2. I love these books you are sharing! And I am so excited to make these CUTE nests! Oh I just love Easter time.

  3. I also love Max Lacado. I have a post in draft for next month with his books in it... :)

    The symbolism that is in some of these childrens books is amazing. (In fact I often cry while reading them to my makes for interesting reactions!)

  4. We love Tomie de Paola's books! We have plans to make nests to day too!

  5. What a wonderful treat and a great pairing too!!!

  6. That quote with everyone everywhere tapping softly just sold me. Here I go again! Petook will be mine. (Or rather, my grandkids'.)


  7. What cute ideas! I love Tomie de Paola! I was born andgrew up in NH. He lived (he may still live there) in the next town over (Hanover-where Dartmouth College is..or maybe he is from there...I can't remember I was 6 or 7) and I remember going to plays at Dartmouth of his books. He would be there and read parts of the story. At the end the whole cast and anyone who wanted to in the audience would form a line and dance around the theater singing the folk poem turned song: "Tis a gift to be simple, tis a gift to be free, tis a gift to go down where we ought to be..." Isn't it amazing how seeing a book can bring back a flurry of childhood memories? What a surprise...I am rambling again. Thanks for the trip down memory lane with the de Paola pictures. :)

  8. Those are so cute! And looks like a great book. We love Tomie here, too.

  9. What a wonderful book idea. I am always looking for good books for the grandkids.

  10. that is an amazing dessert for adults and kids...shredded wheat, here I come

  11. What a great story! And a yummy recipe. Thanks for sharing!