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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars God Gave Us Easter
"...Even death couldn't trap God's Son. He is life itself. And God loved us so much, he wanted us to be with him always. We can see signs of his Easter plan all around us."
-excerpt from God Gave Us Easter

A love of reading began early on in my life. My mother cultivated it in me from a very early age. Now, as a mom myself, I hope to do that for my...
Published 20 months ago by BethR

versus
69 of 74 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Adequate for Easter
In general, the book is cute, but I do not recommend it if you want to truly teach about Easter. Let me explain why.

I like how it started by explaining there is more to Easter than the Easter bunny, but then I felt it jumped around topically. The author discussed how things need to die in order to bring new life and how you have to let go of things in order to...
Published 21 months ago by Betsy Price


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69 of 74 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Adequate for Easter, February 18, 2013
This review is from: God Gave Us Easter (Hardcover)
In general, the book is cute, but I do not recommend it if you want to truly teach about Easter. Let me explain why.

I like how it started by explaining there is more to Easter than the Easter bunny, but then I felt it jumped around topically. The author discussed how things need to die in order to bring new life and how you have to let go of things in order to receive something greater. Then she briefly discusses the sinfulness of people at the flood and after. There is a simplistic mention of Jesus providing the need of forgiveness. She ends with Jesus speaking to your heart.

I think the story does not progress in a logical order. Papa Bear mentioned that God had a plan for Easter from the beginning, but the hopping back and forth does not show it. I think younger ones might miss the meaning of Easter in the midst of discussions of the "root of Jesse" and the river running to the sea. I also have an issue of animals dealing with theology, but that is a topic for another post.

Or is it? You see, I had my 8 year old read the book.

It is recommended for ages 3-8, so she is on the high end. She thought the book was "okay". She liked that the book dealt with Easter, but in her words, "Why polar bears? Animals don't need salvation." Then she lapsed into how fun it would be to talk to the animals, but I (and she) digress.

The polar bear family is a cute family,however...for a family of polar bears that is. The illustrations are really nice.

So, here are my final thoughts. If you want a book to teach or reinforce what you have taught your child about Easter, this one is not it. If you just want a book to deal with Easter as a way of keeping some focus on the real reason for the season, this book would be a cute one to have.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Addition to a Good Series, March 22, 2013
This review is from: God Gave Us Easter (Hardcover)
God Gave Us Easter is the newest member of the God Gave Us series by Lisa Tawn Bergren.

I have encouraged you to add some of the books in this series to your library in past reviews because I believe some books in the series do an excellent job of explaining some hard concepts to children. Because of this, I was excited to read the newest book, God Gave Us Easter.

For the first couple of pages, I was excited. To the surprise of Little Bear, Papa Bear explains that Easter is more important than Christmas. Little Bear learns that "on Easter, we remember we get to be with [Jesus] forever. ...Forever? Forever. That's why God gave us Easter."

Great start!

Unfortunately from that point on, I found this book very jumpy and the progression of topics lacking flow. At times I felt each page turn was a new chapter instead of an extension of the book. The author jumped from the symbolism of roots, to new birth, to a river, to Noah and the flood, to listening to the Holy Spirit. Hard to predict and follow.

In an Easter story I would expect to hear about Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection. Surprisingly this book doesn't focus on the typical Easter events. Unless I missed it, the cross is never mentioned.

According to Amazon, this book is geared toward ages 3-8. My "littles" lost interest very quickly.

Disappointing addition to a good series.

Thank you to Waterbrook Publishing for allowing me to review this book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars God Gave Us Easter, March 13, 2013
This review is from: God Gave Us Easter (Hardcover)
"...Even death couldn't trap God's Son. He is life itself. And God loved us so much, he wanted us to be with him always. We can see signs of his Easter plan all around us."
-excerpt from God Gave Us Easter

A love of reading began early on in my life. My mother cultivated it in me from a very early age. Now, as a mom myself, I hope to do that for my children as well. In choosing literature for my children, I always want to choose quality literature, words that will add to the life of my children. I am so thankful for people who write and have a passion to communicate God's truth to children. God Gave Us Easter is an example of the type of literature I am looking for.

As part of a God Gave Us series, God Gave Us Easter is a story of how a papa polar bear teaches his young daughter about God and His greatest gift to us, Jesus. The story goes through teaching in the Bible about how Jesus is the answer of redemption for mankind. Bergren also uses examples found in nature of how death can produce life.

There are a lot of things I like about this book. The author doesn't bash the Easter bunny or eggs, symbols often associated with Easter, but explains how they can demonstrate the love of God in His gift of Jesus. She says, "Just like the shell cracks open and a chick comes out, we remember that Jesus was in a tomb...but he didn't stay dead." There is also teaching in the book about Jesus being from the root of Jesse. This is something I was unfamiliar with, and had never seen in a children's book, so I learned something too! (See Isaiah 11 and Romans 15.) I also really liked the author's explanation of how Jesus speaks to our hearts, and that even a small child can be sensitive to His voice.

I recommend this book to parents of preschool and early elementary age children. It would be a nice addition to Bible curriculum if you homeschool. If you as a parent are unsure how to communicate Biblical truths to your children, this book would help as well.

Many blessings to you as you celebrate the resurrection of Jesus this year and remember why God Gave Us Easter!

~Beth

Disclosure Statement: I received this book free of charge as part of a free books for bloggers program from Waterbrook Multnomah. I was not required to give a favorable review. The thoughts and opinions expressed here are entirely my own.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, March 15, 2013
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This review is from: God Gave Us Easter (Hardcover)
This is my third book by Ms. Bergren, and it did not disappoint. Through a family of polar bears, she gives us the story of Easter. She explains each of the secular parts of celebrating the holiday, and how it relates to the real meaning of the holiday - the resurrection of Christ and why that happened.Her illustrations are as lovely as they have been in her other books, and the polar bear parents explain love with great gentleness to their child.

I would recommend this book as well as God Gave Us Christmas, and God Gave Us You, for every family who wants to offer Christ based answers to very small children, using language that they will understand.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Easter Story, February 10, 2014
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This review is from: God Gave Us Easter (Hardcover)
I used it for my Sunday school little ones. What a great way to introduce them to Easter. They loved the pictures also.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cute book but doesn't measure up, March 10, 2013
This review is from: God Gave Us Easter (Hardcover)
Easter is right around the corner. Kids everywhere are excited about the Easter bunny, candy and new clothes. But Lisa T Bergren is ready with a new release in the God Gave Us series to help us remind our kids that God Gave Us Easter and without Jesus we would have no reason to celebrate the Easter Season. As always, I love the illustrations and the sweetness of Little Cub as she ask questions and learns about the seasons.

God Gave Us Easter is a hardback book that is sure to become another classic in many families home libraries. Little Cub is asking questions and trying to understand the meaning of Easter. The story takes you through a full circle of information.

I loved how Papa Bear describes the resurrection by looking at an egg that cracks open and out comes a chick. But personally I felt that it was a bit disjointed in the middle section. The book takes you back to the beginning where Jesus comes from "the root of Jesse", talks about pine cones giving new life, how the rivers run to the ocean, discusses the story of Noah's flood and then finally to how much Jesus loves you. All the information was valuable but I didn't think it flowed together in a way that my kids stayed connected to the story of how God gave us Easter.

I am a fan of the God Gave Us series from Lisa Tawn Bergren, but unfortunately this book doesn't measure up to what I was hoping for. The other books in the series are favorites in our home and we love pulling out the other books like God Gave Us Christmas and reading them together.

I received a copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting Story with an Eternal Message!, February 18, 2013
This review is from: God Gave Us Easter (Hardcover)
I love all of Lisa Tawn Bergren's picture books and so do my kiddos. We started with God Gave Us You and God Gave Us Love and were so excited to read God Gave Us Easter. These books are very sweet and special, the perfect way to introduce the wonderfulness of Jesus to children.

Because of the sweet, eternal message the book has, reading God Gave Us Easter to my little ones bonded us even closer together. The illustrations are beautiful. I highly recommend this book and am so glad I had the opportunity to review it! Check out the cute video about it and you'll probably fall in love with the series, too.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Easter and Too Much More, January 30, 2013
This review is from: God Gave Us Easter (Hardcover)
For a family that has raised their child(ren) in a traditional Christian setting, the book "God Gave Us Easter" is a possible addition to a child's library. It discusses the "Why" of Easter (the resurrection of Jesus making possible the salvation of all who believe), though this is almost hidden within the bigger story. There are only a few pages of this book (32 pages of text & Illustrations) that directly address Easter. There are other concepts introduced on the following pages, including becoming part of "Something Bigger", references to the Root of Jesse and Noah's Ark, and prayer, all topics that are related peripherally to the Easter story. A child who has attended a Sunday School or who has parents who have introduced these concepts to the child might accept the abrupt changes in topic as the child would have some familiarity with what is presented. However, a child who has no foundation for understanding would likely find the concepts difficult to follow, let alone understand.

Every part of the story seems to be Biblically based, and is clearly an attempt on the part of the author to explain a concept that many adults find difficult to understand and believe. There is nothing in the story that is not Biblical, though verses are paraphrased to make the story flow rather than quoted directly from the Bible. I especially like the author's way of explaining prayer as listening to Jesus speak to our hearts.

The book's illustrations are well done, adding to rather than detracting from the story. The illustrator chose to use bears to represent people; the story primarily takes place as an ongoing conversation between Papa Bear and Little Bear. Other than clearly identifying Papa, the bears are mostly depicted as genderless; I was surprised on page 20 when Little Bear was for the first time given a female gender; I'd been thinking of Little Bear as a boy. As an author, this caught my attention; a child may not even notice the sudden identification of a girl as the main character. I found it distracting that after referring to "Little Bear" suddenly there was "she" and "her". Since the author found it possible to go 20 pages without identifying gender, I thought that should have carried through to the end of the book.

I don't know that I would buy other books by this author; if I did, I would keep in mind that they should likely go to families who have been teaching their children Biblical concepts, or to someone who is capable of explaining further if the child has additional questions about what is presented.

It is because unchurched children may have a difficult time understanding the book that I did not give it five stars. I believe the book has a limited rather than universal audience. If a new believer, for instance, wanted a book about Easter to introduce the concept for the first time to a child, I do not think "God Gave Us Easter" would be the right book to choose as an introduction to Easter.

ADDITONAL REVIEWS BY FAMILY MEMBERS
From Sister, age 57, mom/grandmother: "What is the author trying to do, go through the whole Bible?" (Spontaneous comment when finding not only the Root of Jesse but also Noah's Ark in the book about Easter.) "I would not buy this book. It's awful [referring to the multiple topics]. I would give it one star." Sister also had concerns about the page describing us as being part of "Something Bigger"; she read it as a cultish concept.

From Niece, 30, soon-to-be-mom: "Too many different subjects. I would not read this to my child. One star."

From Niece's husband, 34, soon-to-be-dad: "Incongruent. Leaps from subject to subject. I would not get this for my child. Two stars."
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Book, July 7, 2014
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This is a great story to help explain the importance of Easter to young children...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet, June 19, 2014
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This review is from: God Gave Us Easter (Hardcover)
This beautifully written and can bring tears to your eyes.
I enjoyed reading this to my little one.
I'd like to buy more books from this author.
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God Gave Us Easter
God Gave Us Easter by Laura J. Bryant (Hardcover - January 15, 2013)
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