Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Bed and Bisket Gang: Everybody's Different

In The Bed and Bisket Gang: Everybody’s Different, written and illustrated by M. Rene DePaulis, Sarah is a young girl whose family has just moved to a farm, a farm they call The Bed & Bisket. Sarah starts out with only two dogs that she takes with her, but by the end of the book she has taken in a menagerie of creatures to care for.

Each animal that Sarah takes in has special needs or is “different” in some way: There’s Chloe, an abused, abandoned dog that Sarah finds under a bush; Black Lamb, a sheep that is hard-of-hearing; Mother Utter, a cow whose milk has dried up; and Ahw-ee, a donkey who walks backwards, among others. All of the animals can talk. Except for the last chapter, each one is in essence a short story of how each animal (or group of animals) came into Sarah’s life and what she did to help them.

Small, pencil-sketch illustrations are included at the beginnings of most of the chapters that provide a visual representation of the subject matter of those chapters.

A Bible verse from Matthew 25:40 is given as a reference for the story: “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, what ever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’”

An epilogue is included at the end of the book the talks about different types of disabilities. Also, a code is provided in the book that can be used to download an audio copy of the text.

What I Like: This is a story about being different and how we all need God’s love. The book’s message is: “Jesus is on the inside working on the outside. Everybody’s different. God loves all of us and uses all of us.”

What I Dislike: Although the idea for the story is a good one, the writing is weak. The author uses vocabulary and sentence structures that are not kid-friendly.

Overall Rating: Good.

Age Appeal: 9-12.

Publisher Info: Tate Publishing, 2009; ISBN: 9781606966686; Paperback, $8.99.

Buy now at $8.99!

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