In celebration of Easter, I wanted to share this video and two picture books about the Ukranian craft of egg painting called Pysanka.
A pysanka is a Ukrainian Easter egg, decorated with traditional Ukrainian folk designs using a wax-resist (batik) method. The word pysankacomes from the verb pysaty, “to write”, as the designs are not painted on, but written with beeswax.
Many other eastern European ethnic groups decorate eggs using wax resist for Easter. These include the Belarusians (пісанка, pisanka), Bulgarians (писано яйце, pisano yaytse),Croats (pisanica), Czechs (kraslice), Hungarians (hímestojás), Lithuanians (margutis), Poles (pisanka), Romanians (ouă vopsite, incondeiate or impistrite), Russians (расписанное яйцо “rаspisannoe yaitsо”), Serbs (pisanica), Slovaks (kraslica), Slovenes (pisanica, pirhi or remenke) and Sorbs (jejka pisać). from Wikipedia
If you want one of your own, I found an Katya Trischuk on Etsy who sells gorgeous hand painted ones.
Rechanka’s Eggs by Patricia Polacco
Babushka, known “far and wide” for her beautifully painted eggs, spends the winter months in preparation for the Easter Festival in Moskva, where they always win first prize.
One snowy day, Babushka is drawn from her work by the sounds of caribou. While she is outside admiring their beauty, an injured goose falls from the sky. A kindhearted woman, Babushka brings the goose into her home to bandage the wound, and care for the creature until she is well again. A “miracle,” Babushka names Rechenka.
One afternoon when Rechenka is beginning to feel better, she jumps onto Babushka’s worktable, overturning jars of paint and destroying all of her wonderful eggs. With her work shattered in pieces, Babushka gives up on going to the spring festival.
The next morning a remarkable surprise awaits Babushka! Rechenka had laid the “most brilliantly colored egg that she had ever seen.” And each morning until the day of the festival, Babushka finds another beautiful egg.
However, with the arrival of spring, Babushka knows it is time for her to say goodbye to Rechenka. Although saddened by their separation, Babushka sets out to the festival, only this time it is Rechenka’s unique eggs that win first prize.
A warm story of friendship, Rechenka’s Eggs concludes with one more surprise, a gift from Rechenka, awaiting Babushka’s return! In the sweet, old woman’s words, Rechenka’s “special gift” is “All a miracle!” [picture book, ages 4 and up]
P. Zonka Lays an Egg by Julie Paschkis
If you are familiar with the picture book classic The Story of Ferdinand (the Bull), this is the chicken version of that story with a pysanka twist! [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Throw a Pysanka Party
Interested in throwing your own decorated egg party? Here’s a guide of what to get and how to do it!
Pysanka Picture Book Giveaway
I’m giving away picture book P. Zonka Lays an Egg. Please fill out the Rafflecopter below to win!
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.