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God Gave Us Easter
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98 of 104 people found the following review helpful
on February 18, 2013
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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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2013
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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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2013
"...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
on March 15, 2013
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
on March 10, 2013
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2015
Very disappointed. I have loved her books and just knew I'd love this one too... unfortunately I did not. Although everything the the book is "biblically true", she runs all around in circles and is really confusing. After reading the entire thing, I didn't feel like my daughter would have a clue what it was saying. I lend it to my mother to read to see if maybe I were being unreasonable.. but she felt the same.
In conclusion, It's way too advanced for a child and doesn't really explain easter at all. The author tried to touch way too many subjects in one little book. I had planned on putting this in my daughter's easter basket, instead, I will be tossing it in the top of her closet and finding a book better suited for her.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 18, 2013
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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on March 24, 2013
We had to miss church today due to illness. Fortunately I had this book for review tucked away for a rainy day. I was sad to miss Palm Sunday service, so we sat down as a family and read God Gave Us Easter by Lisa Tawn Bergren.

God Gave Us Easter

There are several books in this "God Gave Us" series. We've read several and I've always loved the story line and the kids adore the fantastic artistry by Laura J. Bryant.

The illustrations are again gorgeous and contain many conversation starters just from looking at the pictures. The author says the series is geared for ages 2-6 but the story line in this particular book seemed to be better suited for my seven year old. My 5 & 3 year olds loved the pictures but the subject seemed a bit obscure for them.

I'm not sure where to start dissecting. There are several fantastic topics covered in this power packed book. Not only is Jesus the focus of this Easter book, but also the art of "listening with your heart" is broached. I confess I got choked up a bit reading it out loud to the kids for the first time when Little Cub tells her dad:

"Papa, I think I heard God last night."
"You did?" he said, putting his arm around her. "Well that's the best Easter present ever! What'd he say?"
"I love you."
"Mmm, those are good words. Perfect words. And they really are what Easter is all about."

I really enjoyed sharing this book with my family. However, I can't quite say that I loved it. I'm not sure that I can quite pinpoint exactly why that is. Overall it's a great book and I'd still highly recommend it. However, I felt like perhaps there were too many things going on. The story seemed sort of "busy" with lots of topics going on all at once. Easter eggs, Noah's ark, God's rainbow promise, listening with your heart....Again, all fantastic topics, but it just felt like maybe too much of a good thing and it left me struggling to maintain the attention of my younger listeners. Perhaps we just need to read it through a few more times so they can catch on to the story. The author provides a coloring page to go along with it so maybe I'll try reading it while they color their page. That trick often works to keep their attention focused. Coloring page: [...]

You can get more details about the book and read an excerpt here
[...]

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post. Any opinions expressed are my own.
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on March 24, 2013
The Easter Bunny, egg hunts, candy filled baskets, oh my! What happened to the REAL meaning of Easter? What happened to teaching our children about Jesus' Resurrection as the actual reason for Easter? We can still have fun with our children with the Easter Bunny, egg hunts, and candy filled baskets. It's just so easy to lose the actual reason to celebrate Easter. Maybe it seems too hard to explain to our children? Luckily this is a book that will help with that.
It's so refreshing to find a colorful children's book that tells the TRUE meaning of Easter. Most books focus on the egg hunts, the Easter bunny, etc. This book however, puts things in an easy to understand manner for kids to take in. While this book in no way leaves out the Easter Bunny, it explains there's more to Easter than that. I love how Papa Bear takes the little bear on a walk to look at nature. God made everything, and along the journey Papa Bear explains how God had a plan for Easter from the beginning. Papa Bear shows his young one how death can bear fruit to life, but not in an upsetting or complicated way.
I also like how the author gave examples of how even the smallest voice can speak to Jesus, and how we can hear him in our hearts. That was my child's favorite part of the story. My preschooler especially took the most away from it. He has been asking questions about Easter, and this was the perfect book to answer those questions. He now knows we wouldn't have Easter if it weren't for Jesus, and He is the reason. My preschooler is also still excited about the Easter Bunny, egg hunts, baskets, etc., but he is now excited that we are celebrating Jesus coming back to life.
This is the perfect book for toddlers and elementary aged children. The illustrations are, as always, bright and detailed. The polar bear family makes the story fun and engaging, and this is definitely a book you can discuss with your children.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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on February 18, 2013
About the Book:

"God loved us so much he wanted us to always be with him too. That’s why God knew he’d need to give us Easter.”

As Little Cub celebrates Easter with Papa, Mama, and her brother and sister, she begins to ask her papa questions about this very special day of the year. Papa lovingly explains God’s plans for his children, while taking Little Cub on a memorable walk through her stunning Arctic world, and he shares how Easter came about in clear, simple terms that even the littlest cubs can understand.

About the Author:

Lisa T. Bergren is the author of over forty books, with nearly two million copies sold. Her work includes children’s books, historical and contemporary fiction, women’s nonfiction, and gift books. A freelance writer and editor, Lisa lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She and her husband, Tim, are the parents of three children.

My Review:

This story is such a sweet story based on God's gift to us all.... Easter. Easter is my favorite holiday as well as Papa Bear. Papa Bear tells bear cub about the wondrous story of Easter and how God gave it too us so that we may live with Him forever. Easter is not about the coloring and hunting Easter eggs. It's not about chocolate bunnies and sugar coated marshmallow goodies.

It is about Jesus coming and dieing on a cross to save us all. God wanted us to be with Him forever and He knew because we fall very short of His glory that without Him stepping in and doing something it may never come to pass. So soon Easter will roll around and we will get dressed in our pretty Easter clothes and head to church that morning. Lets not forget what happened that day many, many years ago in a tomb our Savior rose and ascended to Heaven to save us from death so that we might live with Him for eternity.

**Disclosure** This book was provided to me for free for my honest review through the Blogging through Books program.
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