Sunday, December 12, 2010

Review: God Gave Us So Much

God Gave Us So Much: A Limited-Edition Three-Book Treasury

Lisa Tawn Bergren has made the Polar Bear Family a very popular family with her several "God Gave Us..." books.  I have suggested several of them on the blog and included them throughout the ABCJLM curriculum.  God Gave Us So Much: A Limited-Edition Three-Book Treasury contains three of these books - God Gave Us the World, God Gave Us Love, and God Gave Us Heaven.  I really like the hardcopy collection and the lower prices on the combined three titles.

God Gave Us the World is the newest title to this series. Available separately early next year, this book explains that "Every bear has a special place in God’s great, big world."  Along with Little Cub, the reader learns that God made us all different and unique but all with a purpose.  Wonderful message to young and old alike.

Momma C's Thoughts:  Just a few pages into this book, I stopped to make sure that I had started on the first page.  Thinking that I had missed something, I was confused with the information in the pictures and the storyline.  The story opens with Mama Bear and Little Cub discussing the snow.  Just how every snowflake is different, every bear is different.  Suddenly the images show the bears in what looks like a zoo.  Flipping back to the beginning, I learned in the illustrations that they were actually at a "Bears of the World" museum.  This is never mentioned in the storyline.  As they walk through the museum, Little Cub views and discusses the different kinds of bears, where they live, what they eat, etc.  (I never did figure out if the bears that they viewed in the museum were alive or stuffed.)   In the pictures you see the family leave the museum and return home.  The final page is of Little Cub falling to sleep while thinking about how other bears sleep.  The illustration shows four different bears above Little Cub.  This picture was very confusing for Sweet Pea as she thought the bears were sleeping together.  In some ways the illustration and storyline compliment each other.  At other times it seemed that they worked as two different threads that needed to be read separately.   In a book that has such a wonderful message, the chosen illustrations were very disappointing and confusing for both myself and our children. 

A year ago, I reviewed God Gave Us Love.  Here is a little of the review:
After the first read of this book, I knew that it was one that we were going to have to keep reading. This book is packed with a lot of truths in character education as well as life as a follower of Jesus. I know that we didn't even scratch the surface as most of it went over Bubs' head. But as we continue to read this book, he will pick up more and more truths.  I also appreciate how the author discusses the different kinds of love that are shared depending on the relationship.  And then there is the love for the unlovable.
To finish the trio is God Gave Us Heaven.  This book touches a special place in my heart because of my calling to help those who are grieving.  I expound on this subject on my blog - Interrupted Expectations.  This is an excellent book to help children understand Heaven.  I was excited to receive this book as our children talk a lot about their Aunt being in Heaven.  Hopefully by reading through this book they will have a little better understanding of what Heaven is.

Momma C's Thoughts:  The book opens with Little Cub asking Papa, "What's heav'n?".  This begins a precious question and answer time between a father and son about death, our needs in heaven, and God.  My disappointment in this book is that Papa did not go deeper on the question of how we get to heaven.  He does an excellent job setting up "The Bridge to Life" but misses the most important part. 

"So he sent his very own Son, Jesus, to be our bridge.  All we have to do is walk across it to head toward our forever home."
We "walk across" the bridge by admitting we are a sinner and have disobeyed God, believing that Jesus died on the cross and rose again and that His blood was shed to pay for our sins, and confessing our sins and asking Jesus Christ to be first in our life.  (For more information on this, click here.) 

As parents, we sometimes are scared to go deeper with our children.  But God says that it just takes a childlike faith to enter the Kingdom of Heaven (Mark 10:15).  We need to seize every opportunity to explain God's greatest gift.

Overview:  I highly suggest this trio as well as the other books in this series.  The innocent questions of Little Cub and wise answers of the adults in her life will bless you and your child.  Even with my minor criticisms, these books are an excellent addition to your home library.  I have seen the recommended age vary between sites.  I would suggest these books for ages 4-8. 

Momma C's Ratings:

Be sure to check out God Gave Us Christmas (God Gave Us...) for this Christmas season! 

Thank you to Waterbrook for the opportunity to review this book.

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The Our Out-of-Sync Life blog focuses on encouraging women to deepen their spiritual life, simplify daily tasks, and impress Jesus on the children around them.