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The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving Paperback – June 5, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Stan and Jan Berenstain introduced the first Berenstain Bear books in 1962. Mike Berenstain grew up watching his parents work together to write about and draw these lovable bears. Eventually he started drawing and writing about them too.  Though Stan died in 2005, and Jan in 2012, Mike continues to create the delightful Bear adventures from the family home and studio in Pennsylvania, in an area that looks much like the sunny dirt road deep in Bear Country.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Series: Berenstain Bears
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Zonderkidz; Original edition (June 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310712556
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310712558
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,667 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Heidi on October 31, 2010
Format: Paperback
The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving is an excellent book to read this Christmas season. Understanding the purpose of gift giving is a tough concept for children young and old (and many adults).

Brother and Sister Bear receive money from their grandparents. They use this money to purchase gifts for others. Then each quietly plot how they can purchase small gifts to allow themselves to keep as much money as possible. After being in a church Christmas program, they understand that the reason why we give gifts is because at the First Christmas Jesus was our gift from God. The shepherds and wisemen also brought gifts to the Baby King. Afterwards the Bear Siblings give the rest of their money to the poor.

Momma C's Thoughts: This is a longer than usual Berenstain Bear book. At 38 pages, this book is geared toward older children (ages 4-8). Even at that, our kiddos (ages 2-6) stayed seated for the whole book but know that most of the concepts went over the youngest's understanding. I also liked how the book used the example of "bell ringers" or the Salvation Army. This allowed us to discuss the importance of remembering those in need and who the people are who stand outside stores this time of year. Activities and questions are also included at the end of the book which are very helpful for parents to further the learning.

Thank you to Zonderkidz for giving me the opportunity to review this book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By E. Warren on December 28, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this for my 5 and 7 year old boys. They both enjoy it a lot. It has a nice Christmas message about the joy of giving. There is one typo in it, however---Sammy the three wise man with a lose tooth is named Sammy Bruno at the beginning of the story and Sammy Bruin later on. Anyway, still a good story and my boys love to read it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Bruce on March 6, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My son enjoys reading this book, but I agree with most of the reviews from others. It's pretty lengthy and it's just not like all the classic books from Stan and his wife. Usually we have to read books over and over again, but this one wasn't read as often.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By XXXXX on November 1, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been collecting all the Berenstain books since my oldest son was 4 years and he's now 26! My 26 year old son, 24 year old daughter, and 10 year old son have all enjoyed the series. I keep purchasing new publications! Truly wonderful family stories with precious lessons to be learned. I look forward to reading these books to my future grandchildren. These books are lasting! A must have for all family libraries.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pam Ryan on October 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book came in great shape and on time. I added it to the collection of christmas stories to be read 1 book at a time Dec. 1st to the true story of Christmas on Christmas day for my 2 and 3 year old grand daughters. Thank You.
Ryan
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A on March 12, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wasn't sure quite what to expect upon reading some of the reviews for this book, but since we love the Berenstain Bears, I went ahead and ordered it. I thought that the story was very sweet and simple for children. Brother & Sister are both behaving selfishly in the beginning of the book and realize why we truly celebrate Christmas and exchange gifts. they decide that they want to donate the money they have left over to others.
I actually think it's somewhat amusing that reviewers would criticize this book by saying that this has an underlying Christian message as though it would be a bad thing. This is a book about CHRISTMAS, a holiday celebrated by Christians so if you celebrate the holiday (& the birth of Christ) you wouldn't find it offensive. If you teach in a public school, you may not want to read this to the class. Also, the reviewers should consider that it is part of the Living Lights collection of Berenstain Bear books which tend to promote biblical themes.
We enjoyed the book & read it several times.
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24 of 35 people found the following review helpful By JohnnyC VINE VOICE on December 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
You won't know it from the info page on Amazon, but Jan Berenstain and son Mike, following the passing of Stan, have teamed up to put out books that may appear on the surface to be Berenstain Bears books, but inside, are actually overt attempts at Christian indoctrination.

The old books from the 80's had morals, of course, that's one of the reasons we love them. But they were morals that came out during the story, or they were stories that illustrated a moral; I'm thinking Berenstain Bears and The Truth. Whereas that book illustrated that lying was wrong, by showing that it undermined a parent's trust in her kids (err, cubs), and that Mama Bear was sadder about the lying than the broken lamp, Jan and Mike's new series are in your face efforts to "spread the word." (They are actually now published by a Christian book company.)

This book, for example, is comprised primarily of the classic Christmas story, and sister and brother learn the joy of giving is based on "All the gifts of Chrismases of all the years went back to those first gifts given to the tiny baby long ago." (Jesus) This realization comes at the end of a Christmas pageant that glorifies Jesus, etc, which takes place at the Bears' church.

This is a very different formula from the classic Bears books, where kids learn to get along with friends, or spend a weekend at the grandparents, or learn how to make up after a fight. This is in your face indoctrination. And the publishers admit it. On the back cover of the book, at the bottom, the publisher explains the purpose of the new Bears series: "Living Lights Berenstain Bears books help children learn how God wants them to live every day.
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