Today I’m going introduce a book I just recently became acquainted with, and I had the pleasure of sharing it with my children – The Berenstain Bears: God Shows the Way (3 Books in 1).
This is an I Can Read! Level 1 (Beginning Reading) book for children. The stories in this book all feature the beloved Berenstain Bears family and one other bear named Fred. My daughter asked who he was, and I couldn’t remember him from my own days of reading Berenstain Bears books. Friend? Cousin? I don’t know. I just told her he was a friend. In these stories, the little bears (and the little children reading them, as well) learn all about how having faith in God will get you through any difficult situation, how you don’t need to fear because God is always with you, and how you can be a good steward of the money God has blessed you with…and how you can even use it to bless others.
I have one beginning reader (she’s just started recognizing some words and phrases on her own) and one preschooler who is not yet ready to read by herself. So, when the opportunity to review this book came along, I had a feeling it might have been too advanced for them, but the title mentioned God, and it was a Berenstain Bears book, so I decided to give it a try, anyway. I was not disappointed!
The illustrations were typical Berenstain drawings – engaging and of very high quality. The stories were well structured and entertaining and they all had a good message; however, at times I felt that the biblical message was a bit contrived. I mean, the almost constant quoting of the Bible (the Good Book, as Mama Bear calls it – I had to explain that to my five-year-old) seemed to be just a bit unnatural and sometimes slightly out of context. I loved the fact that the verses were included, I just wish that they had been fit into the stories a bit better.
Still, my five-year-old loved this book. She made me read the whole thing to her twice in one sitting, and anytime a book gets more than one read in a session at our house, it’s a sure winner. The three-year-old was less interested, but that’s to be expected – both because of the level of the book and because she’s never been as interested in books as her sister is. She did, however, come around during the second reading and sit and listen for a bit. I took that as a good sign!
I have no problem recommending this book to anyone who has small children. It’s a great family read!