Sunday, 13 February 2011

Finally, a Keeper

I'm not going to lie: I anxiously awaited the arrival of this book, and when it came, I immediately tore open the package and sat down (next to the door) and read it to Tommy.

Why? It's by Lisa Bergren and Laura Bryant, the author/illustrator combo of one of our favorite adoption books, When God Found Us You. (I will have to do a post on those soon, but minus a word or two that are not the most adoption friendly, When God Found Us You is great - and Tommy loves it).

When I saw God Gave Us the World as a review selection, I picked it without even glancing at my other options. The story is presented as a conversation between Mama Bear and Little Cub, as they talk about how God was creative when he made the world. Mama Bear first brings up this diversity in reference to different types of snow, and then she shares that God also made bears of various kinds. Mama and Little Cub then proceed to a "bear exhibit" (which is supposed to be a full sized diorama, I believe, but also looks something like a zoo - and bears visiting a zoo to view other bears is just weird). At the exhibit they see black bears, panda bears, sloth bears, and grizzly bears. Mama points out differences in the types of bears to Little Cub: "different fur and different families" for black bears; living in China and eating trees for Pandas; living in India, hanging from trees, and eating termites for Sloth bears, and living in America and eating fish for Grizzlies. Little Cub questions why some of the bears eat strange things and live in other places, and Mama explains that not all bears have the same tastes or homes, but they are all bears and all made by God, and that these differences demonstrate God's creativity and immense capabilities. At this point I very much wish that they would have mentioned the various colors of bear fur, and how all bears may not look the same but they were all made by God - a missed opportunity in my opinion.

The book then transitions into a bit of instruction on creation care, as Mama Bear explains that God is a creator by nature, and that the world he made is old and strong, but in other ways fragile and in need of care. This part feels a bit heavy handed, but it's a good message for children to think about, and children's books aren't exactly known for their subtlety and finesse.

The book concludes with Little Cub wondering about the possibility of befriending other bears and being thankful that God made her to be part of his big world. The illustrations throughout are cute and colorful, and fit the storyline well.

The real test, of course, is the "again" test. This book passed that with flying colors. We had to read it twice in the first sitting, and Tommy chose it again (out of all his books) at naptime. This meant that I did not have to read Curious George Flies A Kite (for the ten thousandth time) - which earns this book two thumbs up from a mom who was very much in need of some new children's reading material.

*I recieved a free copy of this book for review*

1 comment:

Chelsea Lee said...

Love it! I will have to send you some new stories. I've been children book shopping for Oliver and Sarah and so it will be fun to add you and Tommy to that list.