In The Berenstain Bears: Faithful Friends by Jan and Mike Berenstain, children learn how to cope with difficulties threatening friendship. And unlike some of the Berenstain books recently released, this one has strong Christian content.
Sister Bear's best friend is Lizzy Bruin, but when a new girl comes to town, their friendship runs into trouble. Suzy MacGrizzle is nerdy, and nobody wants to play with her. Sister feels sorry for her, and despite her friends' protests, begins hanging out with her. They have lots of fun looking through Suzy's telescope, catching butterflies, and other things Sister has never done before. But suddenly her old friends, including Lizzy, refuse to play with her. Brother Bear suggests Sister's old friends are jealous. Lizzy, he says, is "just worried that maybe you don't kike her as much as you used to."
Cousin Fred (who likes to memorize) says, "You know what the Bible says: 'Wounds from a friend can be trusted.'" Or, as Suzy trsanslates, "...when a friend who loves you hurts your feelings, you need to find out what is bothering her." Fred replies, "And the Bible also says that we shouldn't stay angry with out friends. God wants us to make up with them if we have an agrument."
With these things in mind, Sister, Brother, Lizzy, and Fred gather extra fishing tackle and ask Lizzy and Sister's other friends to join them fishing. When Lizzy's line ends up in a mess, Sister helps her untangle it. "You're a great friend, Sister," Lizzy says. "I always have been and I always will be!" Sister replies.
The book also includes one page of discussion questions and activity ideas related to the book.
What I Like: My daughter adores the Berenstain Bears, and while their stories have always been moral, I'm delighted to see some of their books now contain solid Christian content.
What I Dislike: Nothing
Overall Rating: Very good.
Kristina Seleshanko, Managing Editor
Christian Children's Book Review