Monday, April 14, 2008

God Gave Us You

Lisa Tawn Bergen created a popular series of books featuring a family of polar bears. God Gave Us You is the first book in the series. The other titles are God Gave Us Two, God Gave Us Christmas, and God Gave Us Heaven.

In God Gave Us You, Little Cub asks Mama that age-old question: Where did I come from? Instead of giving some silly answer like, “The stork brought you,” or “We found you in the pumpkin patch,” Mama answers, “From God.” She goes on to say, “Your papa and I were alone, and we wanted a baby.” “And you got me?” Little Cub asked. “Yes, my special child. God gave us you.”

Little Cub asks many more questions about the time before he was born. Mama answers each one patiently. At the end of the story, Little Cub asks: “Did you ever want a different baby?” “Never,” Mama said. “Never, ever, ever. Your papa and I wouldn’t trade you for the world.” “Why?” Little Cub asked. “Why? Because God gave us you.”

What I Like: I like the way Mama Bear handles Little Cub’s questions. She doesn’t come across as preachy, but she certainly conveys the idea that Little Cub was a gift from God. That makes Little Cub feel very special.

I also like the illustrations. The charming, pastel pictures of chubby polar bears and other creatures, by illustrator Laura J. Bryant, have been duplicated throughout the series (even though Laura didn’t illustrate all of the books).

What I Dislike: I debated with myself whether or not to mention the one thing I didn’t like about the book. It has nothing to do with the story itself but with the printing of the book. There are two places where quotation marks were missing from where they should be in the text. Like I said, it didn’t distract from the actual story, but it did distract me from the reading of it. It’s a little thing, but as a writer and a published book author, I notice these types of things. I think publishers should be a bit more careful about what they publish, making every effort to ensure what is being printed is free from punctuation errors. ‘Nough said!

Overall Rating: My overall rating of the book, though, is excellent.

Age Appeal: Baby to preschool.

Publisher Info: Waterbrook Press, 2000; ISBN: 1578563232; Hardcover: $10.99.

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