The Bear children learn the Christmas Story.
Author: Mike Berenstain
Publisher: Zonderkidz, 2016
Written for Ages: 4-8
Summary: It is the week before Christmas in Bear Country and there is very little snow. By the time Brother, Sister, and Honey get suited up, the sun has melted most of the snow away. The next day, however, brings lots of snow! As the cubs play in the snow, they discuss what kind of snowman they should build. They finally decide on a snow angel, complete with a halo and a harp.
While inside drinking hot cocoa, Mama and Papa Bear use the opportunity to talk about the Nativity story. They use the Christmas figures in the windowsill to tell the cubs about Gabriel coming to Mary and announcing the birth of Jesus, the angels appearing to the shepherds, the wise men’s visit, and the angel warning Joseph.
Scripture Connection: Mama tells the cubs using the Christmas figures, the traditional nativity story. Matthew 1:18-25 tells of the birth of Jesus, and Matthew 2:1-12 is the account of the Wise Men visiting the Christ child. Joseph’s warning that leads to fleeing to Egypt is found in Matthew 2:13-15. Luke’s birth narrative begins in Luke 1:26-38 when Mary is visited by Gabriel. It continues in Luke 2:1-20 with the visit of the shepherd.
As an added bonus, the storybook includes six stories in the Bible to read about angels. This is another great resource for parents and children to spend time together, reading the Bible, and exploring the stories found there, making it great family time.
Theological Connection: While discussing the angels in the birth narrative of Jesus, Sister Bear asks, “So angels look after us and protect us from danger?” PaPa quotes Psalm 91 that at God’s command the angels will guard us in all our ways. God is with us at all times in all places. This is a promise that we can count on.
Justice Connection: It cannot go without noticing that an angel warns Joseph about King Herod’s desire to kill the infant child. As such, Joseph, Mary, and the inborn seek refuge in Egypt. We do not have to look far to see those who are seeking refuge today. How are they being welcomed? This is a conversation that can happen at any age. How do we welcome those who are fleeing violence and oppression? How do we welcome those who are being bullied? How do we welcome?
Faith Talk (God Talk):
- Have you ever made a snowman or snow angel? What was that like?
- The angel appears to Mary and shares with her good news about Jesus. A large group of angels shares the same good news to the shepherds. How can we share the good news of Jesus with others?
- What does it mean to you that God is with you at all times?
- What is Christmas about?
- Use various supplies like paper plates, pipe cleaners, coffee filters, etc to make your own angel. Pinterest is filled with some great ideas.
Parenting Connection: The Berenstain Bears and the Christmas Angel is a fun storybook to help tell the Christmas story. It is one of those rare books about Christmas that does not involve presents. It is a great reminder to parents that the number one way for children to grow in their faith is through their parents. Parents can use simple teachable moments, just as Mama and Papa Bear do, to tell the story of Jesus’ birth.
You can buy a copy at Amazon or check out your local library.