Tuesday, March 23

Catherine's Pascha by Charlotte Riggle

Easter will be here in less than a month and families all over the world will celebrate it in their unique ways. Easter... also known as Resurrection Sunday and Pascha... is a Christian holiday commemorating Jesus's resurrection from the dead. It is a moveable feast, meaning that it doesn't fall on the same day each year.  

A few years ago, Charlotte Riggle wrote an Easter children's book called Catherine's Pascha. It's told from the point of view/perspective of a child named Catherine who excited about her church's upcoming celebration.  In Catherine's Pascha, we can tag along with Catherine as she tries to stay up late to go to midnight mass, goes to the church with her family, begs her mom for desserts at the feast, and falls asleep in the car on the way home.  Keep reading to learn more about Catherine's Pascha and some of the traditions Catherine loves.
  
Catherine's Pascha by Charlotte Riggle is an Orthodox children's book about Easter. Learn the symbolism of Pascha eggs and make tissue paper eggs. #kellysclassroomonline

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Author's Summary

Catherine doesn’t like vegetables. She doesn’t like naps. She doesn’t like it when her mom combs her hair. She loves hot dogs, chocolate cake, and her best friend, Elizabeth. Most of all, she loves Pascha! Pascha, the Orthodox Christian Easter, is celebrated in the middle of the night, with processions and candles and bells and singing. And Catherine insists that she’s not a bit sleepy and is determined to stay awake all night. Can she do it? Will she remember how to say "Christ is risen!" in Russian? Will her best friend Elizabeth remember how to say it in Greek? Will their parents let them play with burning candles, smash hard-boiled eggs, and eat sweets until the sun rises on Pascha?

🍎 TitleCatherine's Pascha
🍎 Author: Charlotte Riggle
🍎 Illustrator: R.J. Hughes
🍎 Publisher: Phoenix Flare Press
🍎 Date: January 23, 2015
🍎 Pages: 40

Catherine's Pascha by Charlotte Riggle is an Orthodox children's book about Easter. Learn the symbolism of Pascha eggs and make tissue paper eggs. #kellysclassroomonline

Chatting with Charlotte Riggle

Charlotte Riggle is the author of a series of books written for Orthodox Christian children... The St. Nicholas Day Snow and Catherine's Pascha.  Both stories follow best friends Elizabeth and Catherine and describe how they celebrate different holidays. The St. Nicholas Day Snow describes how Elizabeth and Catherine celebrate St. Nicholas Day together and Catherine's Pascha describes how they celebrate Easter (Pascha).  St. Nicholas Day Snow is told from Elizabeth's point of view/perspective, whereas Catherine's Pascha is told from Catherine's.  

I asked Charlotte Riggle which book she wrote first and where the inspiration for her books came from.  This is what she told me:

I wrote Catherine's Pascha first. I always bought my kids Christmas picture books for St. Nicholas Day, and I wanted to do the same at Pascha (Easter). There are just so many beautiful Christmas picture books, showing all kinds of families, and sharing a wide range of cultural and religious expressions of the day. But for Easter, that range and diversity just wasn't available. And, of course, there was literally nothing for Orthodox kids. So I wrote Catherine's Pascha. -Charlotte Riggle, author

Catherine's Pascha by Charlotte Riggle is an Orthodox children's book about Easter. Learn the symbolism of Pascha eggs and make tissue paper eggs. #kellysclassroomonline

About the Illustrations

The illustrations in Catherine's Pascha contain a lot of details. Each spread features one or two Orthodox Christian churches from around the world, the years they were established, and a Biblical passage/refrain from mass.  You can read Catherine's Pascha over and over, and be able to find something new in the illustrations each time.

Don't let the sophisticated illustrations prevent you from reading Catherine's Pascha with younger children! There are so many things in the story that young children can relate to... trying to stay up all night so they don't miss anything... cracking the red Pascha eggs... seeing friends and family at church... the huge feast after mass... playing with friends while the grown-ups eat and socialize... etc.  

If you are reading the story with young children, simply pick out an important detail or two from the illustrations to talk about.  You can also let the children guide the conversation and let them talk about what catches their attention.  There is no need to absorb every single detail all at once.

Catherine's Pascha by Charlotte Riggle is an Orthodox children's book about Easter. Learn the symbolism of Pascha eggs and make tissue paper eggs. #kellysclassroomonline

Activities to go with Catherine's Pascha

Charlotte Riggle has a collection of 15+ activities on her website that can be used with Catherine's Pascha.  These activities include recipes, art projects, ways to integrate social studies skills, and language arts extensions.  Click the image below to go directly to her site.


Catherine's Pascha by Charlotte Riggle is an Orthodox children's book about Easter. Learn the symbolism of Pascha eggs and make tissue paper eggs. #kellysclassroomonline

To learn more about Catherine's Pascha by Charlotte Riggle, please visit her author's website.  You can also watch the trailer for the book below.


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