Saturday, January 21, 2012

God Loves You, Barnabas

Kids often have a hard time understanding why a friend succeeds at something when they themselves struggle to do well. They may even wonder if they’re good at anything! In God Loves You Barnabas, little Barnabas bear feels the same way.

In the story, written and illustrated by Royden Lepp, Barnabas visits his friends. His friends are have special talents. One is an excellent builder. Another shines in soccer. Another paints beautifully. Even while Barnabas compliments and encourages his friends, he feels sad. He doesn’t think he has a special talent.

Just when he’s at his lowest point, Barnabas’ friends come to his rescue. One tells him, “God cares about what is in our hearts.” Another says, “You are good at being kind.”

The story ends with a simple prayer from Barnabas: “Thank you for making me a good friend.”

Lepp’s illustrations are playful and fun, sure to appeal to early readers. Also, at the front of the book, 1 Corinthians 12:4 is given as a reference for the story.

What I Like: This book is geared toward emergent readers. It has short sentences and simple, repetitive text. As a teacher, I appreciate a book like this because it appeals to young readers and, despite its simplicity, holds a great take-away value. The Scripture tie-in is an added plus. Keep in mind, however, that there is probably a small window of time in a child's life that he will enjoy this very age appropriate story structure. As a child grow in his reading skills, he will crave meatier tales.

What I Dislike: Nothing.

Overall Rating: Excellent

Age Appeal: Ages 4 and up. Best suited for ages 4-6 in my opinion.

Publisher Info: ZonderKidz, 2008; ISBN: 978-0310715870; Paperback, 32 pgs., $3.99.

Buy it Now at for $3.49
OR Buy it at for $3.99
OR Buy the Kindle version for $2.99.

Special Info: This book is one of many in the I Can Read/ Barnabas series. Other titles include Barnabas Helps a Friend and Happy Birthday, Barnabas, also available in Kindle version. You can also read a CCBR review of Barnabas Goes Swimming.

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