Genre: Children’s Board Book
Publisher: WaterBrook Press
Review Date: February 6, 2012
Reviewed By: Bonita L. for Radiant Lit.com
While out fishing with Grampa Bear, Little Cub becomes annoyed with the otters splashing in the water and scaring off the fish. Grampa takes the chance to explain to Little Cub, God’s love for everyone even those who seem unlovable, and why we should love everyone too.
The theme of the story is great, although the story seems to jump around as Grampa Bear and Little Cub move from place to place without mention in the wording of the story. I would suggest that any parent reading this book to their children makes sure they point out the pictures which show the movement of the main characters, otherwise it may appear confusing to the parent and child. In a couple of places other members are introduced into the action without the author actually telling how Grampa and Little Cub moved to where the family members were at. I know I found myself more than once asking…”Where did they come from?”.
Lisa Tawn Bergren handled the theme quite well, giving explanation that different types of love are all gifts from God, as in a wife and husband’s love for each other, or a parent’s love for a child. The way she approaches the need to love those who seem unlovable or unworthy of love is wonderful, and will help children know that sometimes our own attitude towards someone we are upset with is not the attitude God has towards them, nor the attitude God wants us to have toward the unlovable person. Among the pluses in this book, I have to say the artwork is adorable and actually adds more to the setting and direction of the story. Although the story appears to take place in winter, the colors of the characters give real warmth to the scene.
A few suggestion for parents getting this book would be to use the pictures to point out the movement of the characters so that your child doesn’t become confused on how other family members just seemed to appear suddenly. Pause often to ask your child questions such as…”What different kinds of love do you see in our family, our church, or our neighborhood? Also stop to see if your child has questions or understands up to that point. The book’s wording is a bit longer than most board books for toddlers and babies, and actually contains words that are difficult for early elementary students to read alone, so this is definitely a book for parents or older children to read to younger ones.
I would recommend this book to parents though, because of the theme of the story. For those who have found it difficult to explain all the wonder of God’s love, this book will help. For those who have children that constantly seem to bicker or children who always seem upset with other children or people, this will be a good book to help your child approach others with love instead of anger. It would be a great book to start reading with your child from birth until they can read it to themselves and others, because the teachable message of God’s love can never be reinforced enough in a child.
*Review copy provided by publisher–Thank you!
*G — Young children may need parental help in reading and following the story, but it isn’t necessary.