Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Book Review: The Berenstain Bears Blessed are the Peacemakers

I own pretty much every Berenstain Bears book ever published. From the original series in the mid-1980s (which I read constantly and have now passed on to my own daughter), to the newest generation written by Mike Berenstain, the son of the original authors.

I love the characters, the messages, and the illustrations. My 6-year old has dubbed them her "favorite books", and we're always excited to read them together.

The newest book in the illustrious series is entitled Berenstain Bears Blessed are the Peacemakers. The book starts with telling about how Ferdy Factual and his friends don't get along with Too-Tall and his gang, but that Brother and Sister Bear are friends with everyone. All the cubs are set to star in the school play, Romeo and Grizzliet. Ferdy is Romeo, and Queenie--a cub in Too-Tall's gang, is Grizzliet. Too-Tall is jealous of this arrangement, and Ferdy and Too-Tall get into an argument during the performance. Finally, Preacher Brown, who was in the audience, brings up a scripture on being peaceable and brings order back into the play. The book ends with everyone being friends.

This book didn't quite live up to the high expectations I have for Berenstain Bears books. The biggest gripe I had was the story of Romeo and "Grizzliet", obviously a play on Romeo and Juliet, the famous love story. However, there are plenty of other directions a peacemaking plot could have taken that didn't involve a love story, and the way Too-Tall talks about Queenie, it seems as though he saw her as a girlfriend, which my 6 year old is not ready to digest yet. I did, however, like the Bible verses and the overall message about resolving conflict.

Bottom Line: 6*/10*

*I received a free copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers and Zonderkidz Publishing in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own.

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