Review: Revisiting a childhood favorite with Berenstain Bears ‘God Shows the Way’

I was compensated with a gift certificate and a free copy of this book from Family Christian for this review. All opinions, photos and experiences are my own.

Berenstain Bears God Shows the Way
The Berenstain Bears family has been delighting children for five decades, myself included. I loved the stories that had a strong moral message that taught kids how to treat each other nicely, how to save money, and how to not be afraid…and so much more. These books help kids better understand and deal with experiences many kids share.

A new faith-based twist to a family classic

In the book God Shows the Way, the Berenstain family story takes on a new twist. This book, which can be purchased on the Family Christian website, is actually three books in one.

Unlike many Berenstain Bear books that are soft cover, this three-in-one is a hardback book that children can cherish forever.  These books are deemed “I Can Read Level 1“, which means it is for shared reading with an emergent reader.

So what’s the new twist? Instead of being books that are simply about being good, the three books found in this collection are part of the new Living Lights mini-series that have an overtly Christian message.

These books are part of the Living Lights miniseries, created especially for Zondervan.
These books are part of the Living Lights miniseries, created especially for Zondervan.

According to this article from Christian Post, the Berenstain Bears founders were Stan and Jan Berenstain. Their son, Mike Berenstain, took over the Berenstain legacy. Mike became a Christian and wanted to find a way to share his new faith with his readers. The Living Lights series is specially written and drawn for the publisher Zondervan.

I will admit, at first I was a little skeptical but I believe Mr. Berenstain found a way to share a faith-based message and not lose the Berenstain charm. I was skeptical because when I first flipped through the book the Biblical references felt a little forced and as someone who loved the original series, I was a little sad to see the change.

As I read through each of the three stories, however, I realized that while some of the references might be a little awkward in places, the books held true to the Berenstain brand. Each book is introduced with the title page that is found in the original books (also available on the Family Christian site) and on the opposing page there is a Scripture reference that introduces the general idea behind the book.

All three books fit into the idea of “God showing the way” in whatever the given plot scenario. I liked how the parents were still strong characters throughout each book instead of just saying “if you are good with God all will be OK.”

The three Berenstain Bears books in this set

Here’s a quick look at the three books in this group:

Faith Gets Us Through

Faith Gets Thru
Faith Gets Us Through comes from Psalm 23:4 that talks about walking through the dark valley and not fearing evil (part of the Lord’s Prayer in case you’re wondering why it’s familiar).

Faith Gets Us Through takes us on a scouting trip with the oldest child. They go in a cave and get lost and of course are scared. They are led by the dad who teaches them to trust God to get them out of the cave.

Not to spoil things but they do get out of the cave and God is praised for creating circumstances that made it possible. I thought it was also interesting that while they acknowledged that God helped them, the Bears agreed that putting themselves back in that scary position was not wise. I think that’s a good lesson to teach kids!

Do Not Fear, God Is Near

 

God is Near
Do Not Fear, God Is Near comes from the verse Psalm 34:4 that talks about how God delivers us from our fears.

In this book, Sister Bear is scared of many things but her parents encourage her to remember that God will protect her. It also showed how, when she got scared, she knew she could get help from her parents.

I have to admit, I chuckled at the end when the Sister Bear played a prank on her brother after he had teased her for being scared!

Piggy Bank Blessings

PiggyBank 2
Piggy Bank Blessings is based on Proverbs 13:11 that talks about wise financial management.

Saving money is a good thing and the Brother Bear and Sister Bear learn this. They also learn about how it’s important to only spend money on wise things. This book teaches about how we can’t always have what we want when we want it, how to earn and save money, and how it can make people feel good when you spend that money wisely.

A Family Christian giveaway
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5 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I also reviewed this book for Family Christian. I LOVED the Berenstain Bears when I was little. I have many memories of my Mom reading them to me when I was little. I was thrilled when I found out they were doing Christian ones now!! They are a little over my 3-year-old’s head right now but I really hope I can share them with him in the future.

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