My Review of "God Gave Us So Much" by Lisa Tawn Bergren

God Gave Us So Much by Lisa Tawn Bergren is a delightful children’s book.  The story’s setting is in a place where a polar bear family live.  This family has grandparents, parents and children.  Little Cub learns quite a bit from her parents and her grandparents about the nature of God; his creation; and his gifts to us which include the world, love and heaven.

From her mama, she learns about the world around them and so far away; a world that God gave to them.  The nature of God is explained in child-friendly language.  God is creative with a diverse creation, He is awesome (BIG), and amazing.  The purpose of living in this world is to serve and worship God who made it and to take care of it.  Stewardship of the planet is emphasized in such a balanced way that both sides of the environmental debate should be happy. 

Not only did God give us the world but he also gave love, explains Grandpa Bear.  God’s love is shown to his creation and it is expected that his creation learn to love him and one another.  Different kinds of love are expressed such as that between a married couple, parents and children, sibling to sibling,  friend to friend, as well as neighbor to neighbor.  Grandpa shares how God’s love is shown through the providing of food, homes, relationships and ultimately through the giving of Jesus, God’s Son.  

Papa Bear is asked about heaven.  In this section, the author addresses death and the life hereafter.  Even the reality of early death is touched on in a sensitive and thoughtful way.  A place where nothing bad happens, where suffering is no more, a place grander than our favorite places on earth is how papa describes heaven.

My only criticism is that Lisa Tawn Bergren sounds Universalist at one point, with papa bear saying that he believed all their loved ones would be in heaven.  Yet, the author explains in a simple manner that Jesus is the way to heaven.  Personally, I would wholeheartedly recommend this book despite this one weak point. 

Laura J. Bryant’s illustrations are fabulous.  They are simple yet sweet.  I think children would be immediately drawn to the book in large part due to them. 

In my opinion, this book should be a winner to both children and adults.  Adults will be attracted by the title, the beautiful artistry and the look of the book, including the three chapter divisions along with a built-in ribbon bookmark.  Children will want this story read to them again and again while those able to read by themselves will love to do so.   The hardback cover will be able to withstand the repeated use of young, immature hands.   

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

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