Thursday, April 24, 2014

Book Review of: The Berenstain Bears Keep the Faith by Mike Berenstain

There is one thing you can never have enough of in my opinion: Love....and books. I am a huge fan of reading, so when the opportunity arose to become part of the Z Blog Squad, I was thrilled! Each month we get the opportunity to choose a couple of books through Zondervan, free of charge, in exchange for an honest review on our blog. Plus, they have a giant assortment of high quality books to appeal to infants through adults.

What I love about The Berenstain Bears books in general is that each book focuses on a moral lesson, and further, turns it into an entertaining story. In The Berenstain Bears Keep the Faith, Brother and Sister Bear are faced with a situation where they learn that some of their friends practice different religious beliefs than themselves. From these differences, they learn that they have faith in God, although are uncertain about what that means. With the  help of Preacher Brown, they learn about what faith is. While The Berenstain Bears Keep the Faith is appropriate for children ages 4-8, I have a 2 year old and an 8 year old, and this can keep both of their attentions. It is easy to read for my 8 year old son, and has enough pictures and color to keep the attention of my 2 year old daughter. Plus, we received this book shortly before Easter, and I thought that was fittingly appropriate. Additionally, on the inside of the back cover, there is a section with bullet points addressing conversation starters and activity ideas. Any older children could benefit from discussing what they read, while also seeing the real world application.

I found that the message in The Berenstain Bears Keep the Faith was very easy to understand, and simple enough for children to follow. I also found that it was not overpowering or confusing as some religious books can be; the message was clear, as well as relatable. I do not feel as though the spiritual message in this book is strong, however, it is perfectly appropriate for the audience that the book is written to entertain. Religion can be a very loaded topic, and I appreciate that they break it down into digestible pieces for young readers. As stated earlier, the illustrations help to pull the story together and keep the reader's (or listeners) attention, and they are the same high-quality pictures that are present in all of the Berenstain Bears books.

I would definitely recommend this book to add to any children's library, and give it 10 stars:

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Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book complimentary from Zondervan in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated in the above review are my own.

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