As a child, my parents read me The Berenstain Bears books and I fell in love with them. I was so excited to be able to review The Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible Deluxe Edition by Jan and Mike Berenstain. My four-year-old and I opened up our package and stood in awe of the beautiful cover. When flipping through the pages, the color and detail in the illustrations made us already fall in love with it. This edition comes with an audio CD that contains separate tracks for each story, including an introduction and close. The story begins and ends with Papa Bear reading the Bible stories before bedtime to Brother, Sister, and Honey.
My son and I really enjoyed cuddling on the couch as we listened to and followed along with this children's book. The stories are easy for children to comprehend. The illustrations bring the Bible stories to life in a unique way. The bears in the drawings are truly lovable and touched my heart as I read. My favorite story was Psalm 23. It is already such a poetic passage, but the passage unfolds so perfectly through the bear in the artwork. He is lying down with the sheep in the field, then he is walking through a scary land with dark creatures, and finally, he is praying before a wonderful meal.
There are a few negatives that I came upon during my enjoyment of this work. The audio CD does not have a bell, chime, or beep when it is time to turn the page. This book is meant for the ages of four to seven, so a four or five-year-old might not be able to follow along on their own since they wouldn't know when to go to the next page. The audio level is a little low and would benefit from background music.
Also, from a Catholic point of view, the part about the last supper is written incorrectly. The story reads, “The bread and wine is like my body and blood.” The true scripture of Matthew 26 states that the bread is His body and the wine is His blood. It is not just a symbol.
Overall, I really love this Bible storybook. It is the best one I have ever read and my son actually sat through every story. He is usually the type that will not listen to “God Stories,” but his love of the Berenstain Bears took over and he was enthralled in this collection of Bible stories. Parents and children will both enjoy The Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible as it brings generations together through their love of Berenstain Bears.
Copyright 2013 Tanya Weitzel
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