Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Berenstain Bears Thanksgiving Blessings

Although you may already be familiar with Jan and Mike Berenstain's 2009 book The Berenstain Bears Give Thanks, the ever-popular Berenstain Bears now have a new Thanksgiving book to offer: The Berenstain Bears: Thanksgiving Blessings. Written and illustrated by Stan and Jan Berenstain's son, Mike Berenstain, this is one of the better Berenstain Bear books I've seen in quite a few years.

The story begins with the Bear family taking a sleigh ride through an early snow in order to have Thanksgiving dinner and Grizzly Gramps' and Gran's house. They sing "Over the River and Through the Woods (to Grandmother's house we go)" and talk about just how thankful they are for Gran's Thanksgiving cooking. But Mama reminds everyone "there's more to Thanksgiving than just eating lots of yummy food." This leads to a conversation about some of the more important things we can all be thankful for, including "faith and freedom" (Papa gives a very brief accounting of the Pilgrims), "peace and plenty" (Papa talks about the farmers that grew this country, and about times of war and peace), "work and play" (both are important, Papa reminds), and "family and friends" ("these are the most wonderful blessings of all").

At last, they arrive at Gramp's and Gran's, where they eagerly get the food on the table and say a prayer of thanks.

The last page of the book offers three questions to discuss and two actions to go out and do. Also included is a sheet of stickers (small versions of illustrations in the book, not designed to stick in the book itself).
What I Like: While my children always love Berenstain Bear books, sometimes I find the writing in them clumsy or just plain annoying. However, this book is well written while still offering up the familiar Berenstain Bear characters. Both my children (ages 8 and 5) enjoyed this book, and it lead to an interesting conversation about blessings both "big" and "small." And for the price of just $4.99, I think this is a great addition to our holiday bookshelf!

What I Dislike: Nothing

Overall Rating: Very Good.

Age Appeal: 4 - 8

Publishing Info: Zonderkidz; 2013; ISBN: 978-0310734871; softback, 24 pgs., $4.49

Buy Now at Amazon for $4.49

OR buy at ChristianBook.com for $4.49 

Special Info: Check out our reviews of other Christian Berenstain Bear books.


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