Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Berenstain Bears' Caring and Sharing Treasury by Jan and Mike Berenstain

The Berenstain Bears are one of those series that brings up happy memories of bedtime stories with my own parents. Adventures with Mama, Papa, Brother and Sister Bear throughout Bear Country was a standard part of my childhood and one I eagerly looked forward too.With that in mind, I was excited to introduce the next generation of our family to these beloved bears. 

The Berenstain Bears Caring and Sharing Treasury. consisting of 5 separate stories: Jobs around town, Gossip Gang, Get Involved, Love Their Neighbors, The Biggest Brag, each focused on a different discipline or moral quality that the family is working on developing.

The stories were all very readable and of a reasonable length seeing as my 3 year old happily sat through a story without getting distracted. The illustrations will quickly bring back memories to those who enjoyed the series as children themselves.

Overall, I enjoyed the series. The Gossip Gang clearly illustrated the need to watch our words in a way children can understand. Get Involved showed some practical ways to help out in your community. Love Their Neighbour brought up images of The Good Samaritan with a bear county twist.
Every story had a clear and undeniable message.

I did have a few things I felt were worth noting about this treasury.
For one, I'm not sure I would be able to give this to any non-Christian friends or family. The scriptural references and Christian themes were very overt and the wording was firmly set in an older evangelical tradition.
My second note was regarding the first story. While my son and I enjoyed the variety of jobs that were explored I wasn't comfortable  with the message at the end. I've seen the damage of believing that there is a perfect job we are each entitled to have, people forget that sometimes in life we need to work and take care of responsibilities that are unpleasant. 

That said, I think for those who are already familiar with The Berenstain Bears and Christianity will find this a nostalgic trip back to their childhood that they get to relieve with the next generation.

4 out of 5 stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.