Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Berenstain Bears and the Biggest Brag

In The Berenstain Bears and the Biggest Brag, Brother and Sister bear always seem to one-up each other. If Brother brags he got an A on his math paper, Sister brags she got an A+. If Sister brags she scored a goal in soccer, Brother brags he scored the winning goal. Mama and Papa are pretty tired of it, but reminding the cubs that it's not a loving thing for siblings to do ("You know what the Bible says about love - 'It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud'") doesn't seem to help.

One day Brother and Sister are relaxing, looking at the clouds in the sky. Pretty soon, they start mentioning the shapes they see in them. And, true to form, they begin trying to outdo each other. Their cloud claims grow pretty outrageous, as they claim to see complicated designs such as knights fighting fire breathing dragons with castles and princesses nearby. Pretty soon, their voices are raised, and all they can think about it making the greatest claim.

Then Grizzle Gramps happens by. He says he sees two heads in the clouds. Brother and Sister struggle to see them until Gramps finally says, "Right there...They look like the faces of two of the biggest, bragging-est fools I ever saw." Now the cubs feel foolish and Gramps reminds them, "Remember what the Bible says...'Where there is strife, there is pride.'"

As the siblings walk away, one says, "I bet I win at checkers!" And the other replies, "No, I'm going to win!" But they check themselves, remembering Gramps' wise words.

The book ends with suggested activities and discussion questions.

What I Like: Berenstain Bears books are often a great way to introduce a topic with young children, and this book is no exception. I love that several quotes from the Bible are used. I even like the fact that there's no pat ending; we can see the subs will still struggle with this sin. But we also see that now they want to change their ways.

What I Dislike: Nothing, particularly, although I don't think this is the strongest Berenstain Bear book I've read.

Overall Rating: Good.

Age Appeal: About 4 - 8.

Publishing Info: Zonderkidz, 2014; ISBN 978-0310734796; paperback, 24 pgs., $3.99

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