Under normal circumstances many of us would currently be planning to celebrate Easter with family and friends this weekend, laden with chocolate eggs and sweet offerings for the grandchildren!
While delicate chocolate eggs might be a bit tricky to pop in the post, how about ordering the little ones a book to get their teeth into over the Easter holidays, sugests Sydney author Jacqueline Harvey.
"I remember what a special time Easter was with my own grandparents - every year my grandfather would bake hot cross buns for the family to enjoy. They were delicious (except for the yucky peel that I would prodigiously pick out)," she said.
"In 2020 Easter has taken quite a different turn. None of us could have forecast that we would be separated from our loved ones by a virus that has brought the world to a standstill.
"Being mostly confined to our homes is not something we're used to but is absolutely necessary to ensure that when it's over everyone we love is still here. I have a five year old niece who I've been reading to via FaceTime.
"Of course I'd much rather be sitting beside her but FaceTime and phone calls still allow us important contact with friends and family. We can still send Easter gifts too."
She said while chocolate is always popular, this year she will recommend buying books.
"Children of all ages need books and stories now more than ever - to escape, to learn and to help them to think about the world in different ways. Books will definitely last longer than chocolate and while they won't fill your grandchild's tummy, they will fuel their imaginations and have the power to spark a love of reading that will potentially last a life time."
Here are Jacqueline's suggested books for Easter for the young and young at heart:
Bluey Easter Fun ($9.99). This book is based on the hit ABC KIDS TV show. Bluey and Bingo love being creative! Get making with loads of egg-cellent Easter activities for the whole family. There are more Bluey activity and board books to keep young fans entertained for hours.
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy ($35). A reminder of what truly matters, as told through the adventures of four beloved friends. A beautiful book to share.
Funny Stories by ($24.99) Morris Gleitzman. A bumper book of funny stories from a favourite Australian author. Swap a bomb for three ice-creams on a train, bounce on a vampire's bed, eat a pizza that makes you fearless, read the secret diary of a dog, unleash the awesome power of chips, save ten lives with a paper clip, surprise your mum with a chainsaw, use a demolition ball to defeat a bully, live in a house that gets wiped clean more often than a bottom ... and lots more!
Alice-Miranda At School by Jacqueline Harvey ($19.99). A gorgeous hardback edition of Alice-Miranda at School to celebrate 10 years since the pint-sized heroine bounced into our lives. There are another 17 books in the series abounding with mystery, adventure and lots of fun.
- Jacqueline Harvey is best known for her Alice-Miranda, Clementine Rose and Kensy and Max series of books. Jacqueline lives in Sydney and is currently working on more Kensy and Max and Alice-Miranda adventures.