Berenstain Bears And The Golden Rule Paperback – Sep 22 2008
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"A classic in children's literature for nearly half a century, The Berenstain Bears are back with four all-new books that teach children how God wants them to live. These picture books focus on doing the right thing, saying prayers and going to Sunday school-all through the silly antics and delightful humor of the bear family." Focus on the Family Clubhouse Jr "Fans of the series will feel right at home with the familiar story structure and cheery illustrations." Kirkus Reviews "Preschoolers will love exploring classic Bear Country with the familiar Berenstain Bears in their newly released faith-based series" Children's Ministry "Michael's enthusiasm about his work is contagious. He is not only committed to creating sound, edifying instructional literature for young children, but he is energized by his continuing opportunity to challenge children and their parents to think seriously about significant life issues and practices such as giving thanks, loving near-and-far neighbors, applying the rules of good sportsmanship and nurturing relationships with each other and with God." Homecoming "Kids ages 4 to 7 will love these." Homelife "The Berenstain Bears and The Golden Rule does a wonderful job of presenting a very basic rule of good behavior to young children in terms they are able to understand... The Berenstain authors have certainly continued the beautifully written and enjoyable books children have grown to love for many, many years... For those previously acquainted with these wonderful stories, a faith-based series is a welcome edition. If you are finding Berenstain books for the first time, you will be pleased to begin with Godly rules of character as you get acquainted with the Bear family in their beautiful tree house in Bear Country." -The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
About the Author
Stan and Jan Berenstain were already successful cartoonists for magazines and adult humor books when they began writing children's books. The first story starring the bear family,The Big Honey Hunt, appeared in 1962. Since then, more than 250 Berenstain Bears books have been published, and more than 260 million copies have been sold. What began as an idea sparked by their young sons' interest in children's books has become over the years arguably the best-selling children's book series ever.
Since their inception, the Berenstain Bears stories have expanded to include picture books, beginning readers, and chapter books-even a hit TV show on PBS. Writing and illustrating the books has become a Berenstain family affair. Mike joined with his parents as a creative team in the late 1980s. The Bear family has expanded over the years as well. Sister Bear arrived in 1974, and baby Honey joined the family in 2000.
Since Stan's death at age eighty-two in 2005, Jan and Mike have continued to write and illustrate wonderful new adventures for Mama, Papa, Brother, Sister, and Honey Bear. They live in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, which looks a lot like Bear Country.
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Jan wrote these Living Lights books while Mike illustrated them, so they are INDEED reflective of the entire family. If you are offended by the Living Lights series, please look at all the books that have recently come out for publication by the Berenstain Family. Right now, Mike has 6 Living Lights books with titles set for pre-sale and release in 2012 on Amazon published by Zonderkidz. He has 9 books set for pre-sale and release in 2012 published by Harper that are called "First Time Books" or "I Can Read."
Jan may have been involved in writing some of these books that haven't been published yet since she recently died, but it doesn't matter who wrote them. The point is the family HAS tread on their ministry lightly and decided around 2005 not to hide their light of Jesus or their faith under a bushel anymore. They are NOT trying to force their christianity on anyone. They are offering Christians some decent Christian children's stories for Christians to choose to buy for their children.
Almost every single Living Lights book they have written has an almost parallel "First Time Book." So parents can choose which version they want. For instance, there is the Living Lights "Easter Story" (2012) and the First Time Books "Real Easter Egg" (2002). There is "Too Much T.V." published in 1984 and "Discover God's Creation" published in 2010 that are basically the same story but instead of calling the outdoors "Mother Nature," they call it "God's Creation." Same message, turn off the t.v. and go outside. The "Jobs Around Town" (2011) even states in the inside of the book that it is a reprint of "On the Job" from 1987. The only difference is instead of just saying "talents" they say "God-given talents."
Stan and Jan Berenstain wrote a book called "The Bear Essentials: Everything Today's Hard-Pressed Parent Needs to Know About Bringing Up Happy, Healthy Kids" that was published before Stan died in 2005. The introduction to the book says their reason for writing a guide to parents is because they received thousands of emails and letters a year from parents asking them to give them "further advice on issues we have addressed in our First Time Books Series" pg. 8.
I hoarded these books as a child because my parents were neglectful and didn't have a clue about the challenges that go on in public schools. In many ways, I feel that the Berenstains were my parents. You might want to be careful about assuming you know what your child needs. Children don't tell their parents anything. Give them choice and options. Anyone that can speak about a children's book that mentions God or Jesus with such hatred on a review of a book makes me wonder what kind of "real character" their children are getting from their parents or any book the parents bring into their house. I have been a school teacher for 11 years and know that most of the parents of my students had absolutely no idea what their children were really involved in. If they don't talk to you, they will find out their information from somewhere.
Regardless, Mike is giving you choice, more than anyone else that would try to cram their views down our throats. I had to wait 30 years for the Berenstains to have the courage to speak up, yet they did when very few people do. As a christian, I should have a right as a citizen and human being to have books IN PRINT that I can choose for my child that are christian and do not talk about the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus and make believe stuff that they will one day realize you LIED to them, so how can they believe anything?? If you do not like Christian books, don't buy them. The Berenstains have written and published over 300 books and they are ALL in print and available on Amazon. No one cares when christians get offended by the lack of tolerance for our religion. But it's time some parents grow up and stop acting betrayed by the Berenstains.
In the meantime, thank you Mike for keeping the candle lit that your parents started 50 years ago.
Sister Bear gets to learn more about that phrase she knows so well, but has never really considered. This classic is a wonderful learning tool for any child and I strongly recommend it. On the inside of the back cover is a reader's guide, which I do not remember as a child, but has great questions to further the learning and understanding of a reader.
What a wonderful experience spending time with the Berenstain Bears is, I cannot wait for more!
In this book, Sister Bear is given a new locket, one engraved with the Golden Rule inside it. Even though she has heard the Golden Rule, and even seen it in print many times (as Mama Bear has a sampler of it hanging on the living room wall), she never really understood what it meant. But that changes when a new girl, Suzy MacGrizzie, comes to school, and Sister Bear finally invites her to join her circle of friends.
The Bible verse, "Do to others what you would have them do to you," (Matthew 7:12) is printed on the first inside page of the book. There is a section on the back cover with discussion questions and activities relating to the ideas in the book.
The illustrations are the usual, colorful cartoon-like drawings that have made this series of books so popular.
What I Like: I like the idea that the Berenstains are tackling issues that are considered Christian in nature. Although the stories are still fictional, the added depth in the subject matter is encouraging.
I also think they did a good job of introducing, and explaining, the idea of the Golden Rule. They did it in a manner that is very kid-friendly. It's one thing to be told what it means; it's another thing to actually have a chance to act out the meaning.
What I Dislike: Although the Bible verse is mentioned at the front of the book, there is no other reference to the Bible in the actual story. When Sister Bears asks what the Golden Rule is, Mama Bear says, "The Golden Rule is one of the most important rules there is." I think Mama should have also said that the Golden Rule is a verse from the Bible.
Overall Rating: Excellent.
Age Appeal: 4-8.
Christine M. Irvin - Christian Children's Book Review
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