INSIDE: Easter Project Ideas for Rechenka’s Eggs
We love books that tell a great story and provide the opportunity for a child to learn something new.
One of the best Easter books for this is Rechenka’s Eggs written and illustrated by Patricia Polocco. It tells the sweet story of Babushka who is known for her exquisite hand-painted eggs.
Her eggs were so beautiful that she always won first prize at the Easter Festival in Moskva.”
One day, Babushka’s life is changed when she rescues an injured goose and brings it to live with her.
At the Heart of Rechenka’s Eggs
While the story is charming and heart-warming, it also tells about Ukrainian culture and the ancient tradition of painting eggs.
If you are unfamiliar with this art form, these beautifully hand-painted Easter eggs are a Ukrainian folk art known as Pysanky. It is a method that uses beeswax to draw traditional Ukrainian motifs. Many scholars believe this ancient art form dates back nearly 1,000 years when Slavic countries became Christian.
When reading Rechenka’s Eggs, you’ll notice religious icons on Babushka’s wall. This is a common practice in the Ukrainian Orthodox faith and culture.
When Babushka goes to the Easter Festival, the reader sees the beautiful Russian architecture and more references to the Eastern Orthodox faith. “The elders” who judge the eggs are Orthodox priests and they are seen carrying more icons.
It is difficult to read this story without understanding a little about the culture surrounding the Ukrainian and Russian Orthodox faith. We love the way this book shares the cultural heritage and how it opens up further discussion about the history of their faith.
Rechenka’s Eggs is more than just an Easter egg story. It’s the story about the deeper meaning behind these Easter eggs, and this is why we love it so much.
Expand Your Child’s Experience
We want you to read and share this book with your children but also give you additional ways to expand the story.
It is helpful to understand some of the differences between traditional Eastern and Western Easter traditions. Even the dates are different! Find out more here.
In the story, Babushka goes to the Easter Festival, and the illustrations show St. Basil’s Cathedral in the background. Find out more about this beautiful piece of Russian architecture.
Where is Ukraine? Check out these historical maps.
Are you curious about the religious icons in the story? Read more about them here.
Do Babushka’s beautiful eggs remind you of Faberge Eggs? Here’s a link to some exquisite examples of Faberge Eggs.
A Simple Project
We realize that trying to paint a Ukrainian egg would be a huge undertaking for most families. However, we have an idea that can give your children a similar experience.
We’ve included a couple of downloadable PDF pages with Ukrainian-ish eggs (see the blue box above to download these PDFs).
These can be painted or colored, but here’s a fun way to make them a little more authentic.
- Use crayons to create the wax-resist effect.
- Trace over the black lines with different colored crayons.
- Fill in the rest with watercolor paints.
Of course, using crayons, colored pencils, or markers are all great ways for children to create their own Ukrainian Pysanky eggs.
A Taste of Ukrainian Easter:
The story mentions a bread called kulich. This is a traditional Ukrainian Easter treat and a fun food project to try. Here’s an authentic recipe to share with your family.
Rechenka’s Eggs is a sweet story that connects children to Ukrainian culture and its traditions. By adding in one or two of these ideas you can build on that connection and create true knowledge about a particular people in a unique place.
See our Rechenka’s Eggs Pinterest Board for more fun ideas.
Get the book here:
Old Babushka, known throughout all of Moskva for her beautifully painted eggs, is preparing her eggs for the Easter Festival when she takes in an injured goose. She names the goose Rechenka, and they live happily together until one day when Rechenka accidentally overturns a basket, breaking all of Babushka's lovingly crafted eggs. (excerpt from Amazon)More info →
Other Easter books we love:
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