Benjamin’s Box – a book review and activity leading up to Easter

Easter is two weeks away. In the Western part of the world, Spring is either here or just around the corner. I wanted to mention this book, Benjamin’s Box. It is currently available as an ebook for just $1.99 on Amazon (and includes the audio). It is a great way to reflect on the resurrection for the next twelve days leading up to Easter. I also have several copies of the paper copy of this book, if you are a family living overseas and want to add it to you order for your home library to use for years to come.

Benjamin’s Box by Melodie Carlson, illustrated by Jack Stockman (1997)

For ages 4-7

Children love tangible symbols – things they can touch and feel in their hands, things they can see with their eyes. This book does just that, offering visual reminders of the story of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection and His great love for them. Benjamin’s Box can be read like a devotional – it has fourteen small one page chapters, chronicling the life of Christ through the eyes of a young Jewish boy during the time of Christ.

Years ago, Benjamin’s grandfather gave him a wooden treasure box with straw in it. His grandfather was a shepherd and the straw was a reminder to him of the night when angels lit up the sky and he went to see the little baby who would some day be the promised Messiah. Benjamin continues to add to his treasure chest, reminders of his encounters with Jesus, starting with his triumphal entry into Jerusalem and ending with Jesus’ resurrection.

While Benjamin’s Box can be read as a stand-alone, it is also a supplement to the FamilyLife Resurrection Eggs. The Resurrection eggs contain tokens from each of Benjamin’s encounter with Jesus. If you are living overseas, most of these tokens/symbols can be handmade – all you need are 12 empty cups, paper bags or plastic eggs – label them 1-12 and place the following object in them:

  • Day 1 – straw (reminder of Christ’s birth in the stable)
  • Day 2 – small plastic donkey (you can also substitute a bit of animal fur which is what the book mentions Benjamin puts in his box)
  • Day 3 – coins (that Judas collects for betraying Jesus)
  • Day 4 – a small cup (reminder of the Passover dinner Jesus shared with his disciples)
  • Day 5 – a twig (from an Olive tree in the garden of Gethsemane)
  • Day 6 – a piece of leather (reminder of the whips used to beat Jesus)
  • Day 7 – a thorn (reminder of the crown of thorns placed on Jesus’s head)
  • Day 8 – a nail (reminder of Christ’s death on the cross)
  • Day 9 – dice or gambling stone (reminder of the soldier’s gambling for Jesus’ clothes
  • Day 10 – a piece of cloth (reminder that Jesus body was wrapped in burial cloth)
  • Day 11 – a stone (reminder of Christ’s resurrection)
  • Day 12 – empty cup or egg (He is not there – He is risen!)
  • After each egg or bag is opened, if you have a wooden box (or have the kids decorate a shoe box), place each item in the box after each day’s reading.

I highly recommend this book. I love the fact that it can be read one chapter every day for two weeks leading up to Easter. We often read many advent books with kids building up to Christmas, but rarely do so with Easter. There are other children’s Easter themed books that I also recommend which I will share with you as well this coming week, but wanted to share this little gem with you.


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