I recently found out about this awesome program with WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group where, in exchange for an honest review, I get free copies of books! This is my first book review, so I hope I do it well!
The first book I chose is actually 3 books in one...how great is that? God Gave Us So Much by Lisa Tawn Bergren is actually made up of 3 different books: God Gave Us the World, God Gave Us Love and God Gave Us Heaven. I really liked all 3 books, although I think my 2 year old is still a little young for the amount of words and details in each story. In each story a polar bear named Little Cub learns about God during conversations with her mother, grandpa, and father.
In God Gave Us the World, Little Cub learns that God created this great big world full of very different places, cultures, and people. She learns that God is able to do big things and that we should appreciate and take care of the world that God created.
In God Gave Us Love, Little Cub learns that God created us to love one another, even when we don't always want to. Her grandpa teaches her about the different kinds of love that God gives us (between a husband and wife, friends, etc), and that by loving one another we are actually showing just how much God loves us. One of the best parts of this story is the explanation of "faith" her grandpa gives when she questions how we know God loves us when we can't see God.
In God Gave Us Heaven, Little Cub learns from her father about how wonderful heaven will be. Her father uses a bridge (Jesus) metaphor to explain how we get from this world to heaven which is such a neat visual for little kids. This story handles what could be a very tender topic very well and thoughtfully.
In each of these stories, there is room for more details of God and the bible to be added. They are very "open," and do a great job talking about God's creativity and imagination. They don't just tell kids exactly how God is with no room for further discussion. Instead, they invite kids to think for themselves about what God is like. In my opinion that makes them a great starting point for me to talk to my children about God. I cannot wait until my son gets just a little older and can really start to understand this book (again, it is a bit above a 2 year old's comprehension level). This is definitely a book that will stay in our library for a very long time!