Friday, August 26, 2016

Book Reviews :: The Berenstain Bears' Holiday Cookbook: Cub-Friendly Cooking with An Adult, The Berenstain Bears School Time Blessings, and The Berenstain Bears' Caring and Sharing Treasury by Jan & Mike Berenstain

If you liked The Berenstain Bears' Country Cookbook, you're sure to enjoy the The Berenstain Bears' Holiday Cookbook. The Berenstain Bears' Holiday Cookbook is a hardcover cookbook that has fun, easy recipes that will be easy to create with the help of little "cubs". 

For each of the six holidays (Valentine's Day, Easter, Fourth of July, "Fall Festivities"/Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas) there are ideas for drinks, main dishes, desserts, & snacks. In addition to the cookbook aspect, The Berenstain Bears' Holiday Cookbook also has a small story that runs before each section of the book. (I must say that the story sections could have used a little bit more time in the editing department.)
Each of the 40 recipes in The Berenstain Bears' Holiday Cookbook has a large, full-color picture of the completed product on the page opposite the recipe. 

The recipes are all very easy, but I must admit that I was hoping to find recipes from scratch (rather than using "ingredients" like a bag of microwave popcorn or a can of tomato soup). Even still, there are several recipes here I am looking forward to trying (especially the "Winter Sweet Potato Soup").

At the end of The Berenstain Bears' Holiday Cookbook you will find some basic kitchen conversions (tablespoons to cups, etc.).

I love when kids are encouraged to help out in the kitchen and adding in the lovable Berenstain bears characters only makes this more appealing for kids.

The Berenstain Bears books are instant classics, as far as I am concerned. These are books that I grew up reading and the new books in the collection (even though they are now mainly written by Mike Berenstain rather than Stan and Jan Berenstain), keep in line with the Berenstain legacy. The Berenstain Bears books are books that exemplify moral character, and I appreciate that. 

In The Berenstain Bears School Time Blessings, the bear cubs (including Honey) are headed off to school. Each of the cubs are excited, but also a bit nervous. What I love about The Berenstain Bears School Time Blessings is that it points out that you should take your worries to God. This is a great example for kids who will be reading this book (and the parents, too!). There were several Bible verses referenced in the book, which is wonderful.

I think The Berenstain Bears School Time Blessings is definitely a great choice. 

The Berenstain Bears Jobs Around Town gives a quick look at a wide variety of jobs that Brother and Sister Bear might do when they grow up. I found the voice/perspective of the book to be confusing, but other than that I enjoyed it. 

The Berenstain Bears Get Involved shows Brother and Sister Bear and the rest of the Cub Club learning about helping others in need, and they get to put their learning into action when flooding hits their town.

The Berenstain Bears Love Their Neighbors is a take on the story of the Good Samaritan. Although I could have done without the country stereotypes in this book, I thought it was a good take on the familiar parable.

In The Berenstain Bears Gossip Gang, Sister learns about gossip - from multiple perspectives. 

In The Berenstain Bears and the Biggest Brag, Brother and Sister Bear learn that bragging is not a loving thing to do. I appreciate the moral of this book, but wish it had been handled in a different way. Throughout most of the book, Brother and Sister Bear are bragging, rather than learning their lesson. I wish they had learned their lesson sooner and maybe even learned some alternatives to bragging (like building each other up). I also didn't care for how Grizzly Gramps talks to Brother and Sister Bear about their bragging - he calls them "two of the biggest, bragging-est fools". In the end, however, Brother and Sister Bear start to get the idea and apologize for their bragging.

At the end of The Berenstain Bears' Caring and Sharing Treasury is a page of questions and activities based on the 5 stories - a nice addition to some good books. 
FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.

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