Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Panda And Polar Bear by Matthew J. Baek

Recommendation: Recommended

This is a sweet story about two different kinds of bears from different homes who find each other and become friends. Their physical differences are not apparent to both upon their first meeting, and when they are finally revealed, the friendship is not weakened.

Positives: The interaction between the polar bear and panda bear is very characteristic of children who begin as strangers on the playground, and are quickly friends who enjoy each other’s company. The polar bear is even willing to try eating bamboo, something the panda bear enjoys, of course. There is compassion and teamwork involved in this story.

Negatives: None

Talking Points: Although there is no mention of God in this book, the values are pure and loving, and can easily be used to point a child to how God wants us to likewise “love our neighbor.” (Matthew 19:19) This is especially demonstrated when the panda bear tries to think of a way to help his homesick friend. Also, the principle of caring more about who a person is inside rather than judging one’s outward appearance can be discussed as the polar bear’s mud is washed off and it is apparent that he is not like the panda bear. (1 Samuel 16:7)

Age Level: 4-7

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