Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Spring Reads: The Berenstain Bears: 5-Minute Inspirational Stories

Zonderkidz; 192 pages; $12.99; Amazon

The Berenstain Bears is one of the biggest picture book series on the market today. Created by Stan and Jan Berenstain, the first title in the long running children book series was published in the 1960s. Despite being criticized for it's formulaic storytelling, the series has remained popular with every new generation of young readers. Sadly, the original authors have both passed away; however, there son, Mike, has taken over writing and illustrating new titles, which now have Christian themes.

Now available from Zonderkidz is The Berenstain Bears: 5-Minute Inspirational Stories featuring twelve full stories with full-page artwork.

The collection includes:

God Loves You!
Say Their Prayers
Love Their Neighbors
Faithful Friends
The Forgiving Tree
And the Biggest Brag
And The Gift of Courage
Blessed are the Peacemakers
Get Involved
Gossip Gang
God Bless Our Home
Here's the Church, Here's the Steeple

Final Thoughts: I have criticized several of the newer Berenstain Bears books. I don't mind the plots having Christian themes, but some of the titles feels forced upon the readers, and there are even a few that don't have an actual ending to their stories. Nevertheless, I continue to sign up to review the newer titles, mostly due to me feeling a bit nostalgia when it comes to the franchise.

There are twelve titles in this oversized hardcover, all of which were published sometime between 2008 and 2014. A few of these takes a bit longer than 5 minutes to read despite what the book's title suggests, while others take less than 5 minutes.

As for the illustrations, all of the pictures are excellent with bright colors, and are all exactly what I expect to find in a Berenstain Bear story. I had previously read most of the titles in the collection, but there were a few that were new to me, such as God Bless Our Home and God Loves You!. As for the stories go, almost all of them are well-written with meaningful messages for kids. Yes, the stories do have Christian themes with a few Bible scriptures, but none of them feels too forced.

Overall, The Berenstain Bears: 5-Minute Inspirational Stories is a cute picture book collection for young readers. 

*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

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