The Berenstain Bears and the Golden Rule, created by Jan, Stan and Mike Berenstain, is one in a new series of books by this well-known team, each dealing with a Biblical theme or idea. Their previous titles were considered secular books, even though many of them dealt with moral issues. In this book, Sister Bear is given a new locket, one engraved with the Golden Rule inside it. Even though she has heard the Golden Rule, and even seen it in print many times (as Mama Bear has a sampler of it hanging on the living room wall), she never really understood what it meant. But that changes when a new girl, Suzy MacGrizzie, comes to school, and Sister Bear finally invites her to join her circle of friends.The Bible verse, Do to others what you would have them do to you, (Matthew 7:12) is printed on the first inside page of the book. There is a section on the back cover with discussion questions and activities relating to the ideas in the book.The illustrations are the usual, colorful cartoon-like drawings that have made this series of books so popular.What I Like: I like the idea that the Berenstains are tackling issues that are considered Christian in nature. Although the stories are still fictional, the added depth in the subject matter is encouraging. I also think they did a good job of introducing, and explaining, the idea of the Golden Rule. They did it in a manner that is very kid-friendly. Its one thing to be told what it means; its another thing to actually have a chance to act out the meaning.What I Dislike: Although the Bible verse is mentioned at the front of the book, there is no other reference to the Bible in the actual story. When Sister Bears asks what the Golden Rule is, Mama Bear says, The Golden Rule is one of the most important rules there is. I think Mama should have also said that the Golden Rule is a verse from the Bible. 4 1/2 stars.
It's been years since I have read any of the adventures with the Berenstain Bears, but it was definitely a strong part of my earliest childhood that I have spare memories of. The Berenstain Bears and the Golden Rule is a winner in my opinion and a shelf keeper for every family.Sister Bear gets to learn more about that phrase she knows so well, but has never really considered. This classic is a wonderful learning tool for any child and I strongly recommend it. On the inside of the back cover is a reader's guide, which I do not remember as a child, but has great questions to further the learning and understanding of a reader.What a wonderful experience spending time with the Berenstain Bears is, I cannot wait for more!