Illustrator: Mike Berenstain
Also in this series: , ,
Also by this author: , ,
Genres: Juvenile, Juvenile Fiction
The Berenstain Bears’ Old-Fashioned Christmas by Jan & Mike Berenstain
Series: Berenstain Bears
Genre: Juvenile Fiction / Holidays & Celebrations
Ages 4 to 8, Grades P to 3
Pages: 32 Hardcover 8.5 x 11
Date Published: September 25th, 2012
The Berenstain Bears celebrate Christmas in this heartwarming, nostalgic picture book.
The Berenstain Bears want to celebrate Christmas just like in the olden days, but how will they have fun without all of their modern toys and gadgets?
Read on October 4th, 2012.
That sound you hear, that’s a mother’s child-like heart sighing in contentment with memories of my own family Christmases as well as dreams and hopes about the ones to come for me and mine. This is a general market publication and not part of the Christian Berenstain Bears books (like from Zondervan) so there is no mention of the nativity or Christ in Christmas, but everything else is there. From my opinion as a Christian mother, I wouldn’t hesitate to throw this one in the bin to read and re-read every holiday season. Equally, there is no mention of other December-time holidays in other beliefs, so any family will not feel as they have to take away but can just add on their own themes and traditions of faith. There are only pluses in this book with no negatives in my opinion. Great for school, library, read alouds, family or anybody to have for their shelf. (To my knowledge Living Lights Christian message readers come from Zondervan, while all sorts of moral and valuable general market reads are available from main publishers such as Random House and HarperCollins Children’s.)
Getting my hands on this I am of the opinion there should be many more Berenstain Bears books in this size [8.5×11]. It is perfect for a lap read to hold and snuggle, or hold turned around for a group storytime. Are there more like this that I do not know about? Maybe an encyclopedia or what-not? I have found out about The Berenstain Bears’ Big Book of Science and Nature and I cannot wait to get my copy I pre-ordered with the new 2013 edition from Dover. (Other suggestions, I’m all ears!)
This book is so full and fun for a full read through, or a bit here and then — now and later. With a page full of lyrics (almost poster quality illustration) for both Jingle Bells, The Twelve Days of Christmas and a few pages of image craft ideas (reminiscent again to me of big Richard Scarry activity books from rainy days as a child…) with the craft-at-your-own-risk disclosure of course. While this is a jacketed hardcover, it will sit just as pretty on your shelf without it. The illustrations are vibrant and wonderfully done in the Berenstain style where I believe Mike Berenstain does his parents legacy proud. Then of course there is the fabulous accomplishment of this book being released with the 50th Anniversary seal, it’s perfect right there on the tree as it should be.
Then speaking about as it should be… This is a great Christmas, one of tradition to me and mine and probably to many other homes out there. Including caroling singers, family time and music, unplugged from distraction to truly enjoy one another. Bringing out family memories and working it all together, a good “old-fashioned Christmas”. Snuggle up and read, or grab it for a craft activity or two, or even a sing along and you’ll have fun with this one. It definitely is a spark for ideas.
Oh! and on to the flap, that answers all the questions I always had about the beginning of the Berenstain Bears in 1962 with The Big Honey Hunt to the addition of Sister in 1974 and Honey in 2000… I always wondered when Honey came in, as she was just suddenly there when I was a babysitter, but not in my own childhood… I’m delighted with it all and I cannot hesitate to recommend this to just about everyone. It will be a fabulous addition to any Christmas, winter season, holiday gathering reading library.
*Thanks to HarperCollins for providing a copy for review.*
Stan and Jan Berenstain began writing the Berenstain Bears series in 1962, with The Big Honey Hunt. Since then more than 250 Berenstain Bears books have been published and sales of the series are nearing 300 million. When Stan passed away in 2005, he left behind a legacy of arguably the best-selling children’s book series ever. The Berenstains have kept the Bears books a family affair, with son Mike Berenstain now writing and illustrating with his mother. You can visit the Berenstains online at www.berenstainbears.com.