Tell Me a Story Mama, Little Berry and Mama Bear
by Lynne Carol Austin
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Pub Date 06 Aug 2015 | Archive Date 15 May 2016
Little Berry loves the stories Mama Bear tells! She makes it oh so much fun to listen to how all the animals of the forest live and help teach each other about life. Whether it is a bedtime story or a hiking out in the forest story, all are ancient accounts, full of wisdom and lessons, to assist Little Berry to live a happy little bear life.
Wolf is known as the teacher, Blue Heron helps us understand the deeper parts of ourselves and Salmon shows us how to go with the flow. In this chapter book, Little Berry comes to understand how all the woodland animals have a purpose in helping the younger ones learn and grow.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 16 members
A great book, with gorgeous illustrations, well written with interesting lessons learned not only for children but for adults too.
Overall I really enjoyed this book, although there were moments when it stopped being a children's story and became a bit heavy-handed with the life lessons. All in all, this book was worth the time and the pieces I read aloud to my children were a hit. I can imagine this book being a hit with children ages 5-8, with the more lesson based concepts being talking points with the older end of that range.
A story that is at times heavy handed with lessons but enjoyable nonetheless. The beautiful illustrations really steal the show.
I think I must have really misunderstood the type of children's book and the age level of children's book this was when I requested it, which has left me with some mixed emotions about it.
I thought this book would be something I could read with my nephew who is 4 but it's not really small child friendly in my opinion. This is a book I would probably only recommend for older children, somewhere in the 7-10 years of age range.
This is due in part to the book's length. While it is divided up into chapters of specific stories that Mama Bear is telling to Little Berry, some of the chapters were still kind of long for my tastes in children's books.
With an older child however, I believe this book would be great for introducing them to chapter books as the chapters are page after page of reading with only one picture per chapter.
Another reason to recommend this book for older children is the writer's word choices. There are several big vocab words throughout the book, which I did enjoy seeing. I do feel like a newer or younger reader may struggle reading and probably require help to read through this book. Whereas an older child would greatly benefit from the challenge.
Of all the stories mama bear tells Little Berry, I think "Raspy Raccoon" may have been my favorie. There's just something fun about those mischievous little guys.
I felt the illustrations, limited as they were, were the best parts of this book. Truly remarkable imagry. I was wowed with each and every one. Perhaps the cover image lead me to think this would be more of a picture book than it was. The cover definitely drew me in and the inside images did not disappoint.
Overall, I would only rate this book 3 out of 5 stars. To be fair, my family and I were not the right audience for this book. But seeing other reviews I can see that I'm not the one who wasn't completely impressed with the tone in which these life lessons are delivered. At times it felt Little Berry and myself were receiving a lecture from mama bear so it was a turn off.
This isn't really a bedtime book for your kids, unless you like discussing spirituality, and deep thought just before you go to sleep. This is more a book for discussion, and reflection. Nothing wrong with that, but I think this is being marketed wrong.
When I requested this book, I thought it was a bedtime story book, but I was wrong. That might have been the intent, but I do not feel that is where it fits. I would use this book with children when I was trying to teach them something. The ideas include the values of friendship, honesty, gratitude, respect, trust and basic interactions with its peers. One of the lessons talks about looking for the good in everyone, as well as trying to become a better person ourselves. Sometimes the stories are a little too obvious and pushy. The stories come to life through very friendly funny animal characters such as the Lonely Wolf, the Blue Heron, or the Salmon. The book would work with children from about 6 to 10 with the reader being able to get something out of it as well.
Tell Me a Story, Mama: Little Berry and Mama Bear by Lynne Carol Austin is a book without an audience. It's too mature for small children and too childish for middle schoolers, plus with sophisticated language, using words such as Rambunctious, Bodacious, Infectious, and Tantalizing, this is obviously meant to be a read aloud and not a chapter book. Despite the colorful, child friendly illustrations at the beginning of each of the ten chapters, this would also not be considered a picture book.
Mama Bear shares many of the tales which her mother told her passed on from her grandmother. If animals had folk lore explaining the various mysteries of life, such as why a raccoon has a mask or how animals helped form human beings, these would be the tales that were told. Mama recounts her stories then explains what they mean to her son, Berry Bear, although her commentary tends to be wordy and kind of preachy.
Philosophical at times, with observations such as how some animals have a hidden soft side, only acting harshly to cover up the hurts they've experienced in their lives, the language tends to be stylized, such as the reflection about butterflies dropping off the golden dust of procreation. Even though nature is a major component of this book, focusing on each animal's place in the world in order to create harmony among the creatures, there is no mention of God but numerous references to the Great Creator and Mother Nature. Overall, this is not the usual fare for young children.
I would have preferred Austin to have created a traditional picture book leaving out the sermonizing and letting the simple tales, along with more of Keith Skeen's marvelous illustrations, tell themselves. Two and a half stars.
I was given an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.
This is a deep book that young readers will need adult assistance to understand. The lessons are good ones, but probably too much for them to digest unaided.
Great children's story. Highly recommended to give understanding on how everyone is involved in a child's life through Little Bear's perspective.
Tell Me a Story Mama, Little Berry and Mama Bear is a beautifully written, inspiring story that has great appeal to parents and children alike. This story gently teaches important values and features lovely characters that are described in a captivating way. Gorgeous book for young children and families to read together.
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