Legend of the Sand Dollar for Easter

Since we are entering Holy Week, I thought I would share a book we
discovered as we were investigating underwater creatures. The book is The Legend of the Sand Dollar: An Inspirational Story of Hope for Easter by Chris Auer. This book is about a young girl, Kerry, who takes a bus with her older sister to a relative's house. Kerry cannot understand why they cannot be with their parents for a few days, but loves going to the relative's house and playing with her cousin, Jack. On the first morning there Jack takes Kerry for a ride in his new boat to an island in the sea. They see sand dollars. Kerry asks what they are and Jack tells her about them and their legend. Now their legend is not a secret. It is all over the internet, but I had not heard it before. Anyway the legend gives Kerry the hope she needs to wait to see her parents again and she shares the story with her sister.

Lilium longiflorum (Easter Lily)
Easter Lily Source: By UpstateNYer (Own work)
[CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Now a sand dollar is a type of sea urchin and is related to the starfish.  The legend or at least the symbolism that Christians found in them is rather simple. On the top of the sand dollar you can see the image of the Easter lily. These are the petals coming from the center. In the center you see a star which is the symbol of the Christmas story with the wiseman following it. The five holes in the top are considered the holes that were left in Jesus from being stabbed and hung on the cross.

Euphorbia pulcherrima redfox1
Poinsettia Source: By KENPEI
 (KENPEI's photo) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or  
CC-BY-SA-2.1-jp], via Wikimedia Commons

The underside of the sand dollar has what people describe as the Christmas flower. I am assuming they mean the poinsettia. 

The legend then tells us that if you break open a sand dollar shapes of doves will come out. Now I wanted Hazel to try this so I searched for sand dollars. Since it is off season, the shell stores are not open yet. I finally found some at A.C. Moore (none of the other craft stores near me had any). I bought her three. She has two on her nature table and we broke one the last time we read this story.

I let Hazel try to break it, but she needed some help. For being such fragile creatures, they are actually a bit hard to just break. We broke it over a basket to catch all the pieces. Can you see the doves?

Here is one I took a picture of separately. They look more like a dove from a distance.

To finish this exploration I planned on making some sand dollar cookies like the ones at Mama Miss: Sand Dollar Cinnamon Sugar Cookies. However we had beautiful weather so we spent most of the day planting and playing outside and did not think about baking cookies. Oh, well, another time.

For more Easter and Underwater Creatures check out:

I hope you will join us for more Easter posts this week. Many will be how Easter is celebrated in other countries!