Simon of Cyrene and The Legend of The Easter Egg
Simon of Cyrene and The Legend of The Easter Egg

Item code 



DeGezelle, Terry 

Pauline Books & Media 



Available Formats:   EPUB  Paperback 

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A religious Easter book for children ages 4 to 7 that roots cultural practices in faith and introduces Simon of Cyrene.

About this Book:

Legend tells us that Simon of Cyrene, the man who helped Jesus carry his cross up to Calvary, was an egg merchant. Passing by on his way to market, Simon is stopped by Roman soldiers and ordered to help Jesus carry his cross to Calvary. Three days later, Simon rejoices when he sees that not only has Jesus risen from the dead but his eggs have been transformed into a colorful new gift from Jesus-the first Easter eggs! For children ages 4 to 7.

Features & Benefits:

  • Gives children ages 4 to 7 a glimpse of Jesus on his way to Calvary
  • Links the history and culture of Jesus' time to the tradition of coloring Easter eggs
  • Shows how a single encounter with Jesus can change lives
  • Takes Simon's story into Easter Sunday

About the Author:

Terri DeGezelle has published more than 60 children's nonfiction titles as well as 100 magazine articles and several photos in national publications. She is a presenter at young writers' and young artists' conferences around the Upper Midwest. She enjoys sharing her skills during school visits and inspires students to follow their dreams while being the best they can be. Terri's passions include attending daily Mass, praying the Rosary, reading, writing, spending time with her adult children, playing with her grandchildren, and photographing the world around her.

About the Illustrator:

Gabhor Utomo was born in Indonesia and moved to California to pursue his passion for art. Gabhor has worked as a freelance illustrator on a number of children's books. His works have won numerous awards from local and national art organizations. Gabhor now lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife Dina and their twin girls. To see more of his beautiful illustrations, visit

What Are People Saying about this Title?

This book expounds on his minor role by re-creating what Simon might have been thinking and feeling during Jesus' Passion. Many people don't think of Simon as someone who willingly helped Jesus and who also quickly disappeared after the fact. Instead, we get a picture of a man who was changed by his brief encounter with Jesus. This is an excellent book and one you should pick up for your child and put in their Easter basket.
-Stuart Dunn, Stuart's Study blog

Simon of Cyrene and the Legend of the Easter Egg by Terri DeGezelle is a clever retelling of an old German legend.
- Barb Szyszkiewicz, OFS, Blogger

Told with a lively narrative and brightly colored, satisfying illustrations, this is a good story to choose for read-alouds, opening up an opportunity to discuss the many aspects of the Easter story.
-Bookology Children's Literature Magazine

Product Details:

Binding: Hardcover
Trim size: 6¼ x 7½ inches
Pages: 40

Keywords: Stations of the Cross, colored eggs, Easter story, Easter Sunday, fifth station, Easter legends, cross, why do we color eggs, dyed eggs, Good Friday, German legend, resurrection, Jesus, Simon helps Jesus, ages 4 to 7, primary, soldiers

Katie says...
Pauline Media provided me with a copy of Simon of Cyrene and the Legend of the Easter Egg in exchange for an honest review. This sweet picture book was a perfect classroom read aloud during Holy Week. While its main audience would probably be more 1st-3rd graders, my 5th grade students were all ears and enjoyed discussing the story of St. Simon of Cyrene. We only know a little bit from Scripture about the man who helped carry Jesus cross on God Friday. His sons Alexander and Rufus are mentioned again later in Scripture, implying that the family became Christians. But what happened after Simons quick encounter that led to his familys conversion? This 40 page book incorporates what we know from Scripture with a German folk tale about St. Simon. It brings Simon to Jerusalem as an egg seller, tells of him helping Jesus on His Way of the Cross, and then has Simon stick around. Spending time on Holy Saturday waiting with the apostles and Mary, Simon hears the stories of Jesus life, and then is present on Easter morning when the first news of the Resurrection reaches the disciples. He returns eagerly to tell his family about his encounter. The eggs he had brought to sell had been forgotten, but when he arrives home he finds that they miraculously have been changed to bright colors, all symbolizes something about the Christian life. I loved the beautiful illustrations in this book, done by Gabhor Utomo. The vivid facial expressions as well the contrast of action in the foreground and faded scenes in the background made it visually interesting even for older readers. It also combines a personal touch to images we see frequently in the form of the Stations of the Cross, making it more relatable for children. A small disappointment was the books size. It is only 6 1/4" x 7 1/2" (which is correctly listed in the books info), but it does make it a little harder to use as a read aloud. Id love to see a new edition with much larger pages allowing the readers to see all the details of the lovely illustrations. I would highly recommend this book as an addition to your home or classroom as a book to help celebrate Lent and Easter, as well as for a study of early Saints or evangelization.

Dr. Charles R. Smith says...
Written in an engaging way, this delightful story connects the biblical story of Simon of Cyrene to the cultural tradition of the colored Easter egg. Along the way it shares the sacrificial life of Christ in a manner quite appropriate for children four to seven years of age. The colorful illustrations bring the moving text to life, and I found my young grandchildren eager to ask questions and express their compassion for Jesus and for Simon. As an adult, I appreciate the author providing some background information concerning the legend. As I had not previously heard of such legend, it was greatly appreciated. A good book with a great message!

Shelly Bauer says...
Terri DeGezelle created a wonder childrens story around Simon of Cyrenes encounter with Jesus. This beautiful story and its illustrations created by Gabhor Utomo is sure to capture the attention and hearts of elementary children. The bonus of the German legend of the Easter egg is sure to be an addition to many family traditions.
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