I am totally baffled as to why this Berenstain series is called "First Time Books". Nothing could be further from the truth. The vocabulary is sophisticated (words like 'Killer Koyote', 'Avenger', 'Equestrienne') and there are way too many words per page to make this appropriate even for a first grader. [In fact, at least one of the kid's reviews here was written by a 10 year old!]
Note: Take a look at the page offered in Amazon's "Search inside this book" feature to judge for yourself.
And while I like the moral of this book, I find that it suffers from a reversal of heart at the end. In this case, after having made the point (very well I thought) that children *should* be thankful for what they have; the story suddenly reverses course and has Mama and Papa caving in and planning to buy the desired toys anyway. What gives?
To me this counters the good message of being thankful, with the supposition that if they `just wait' children will eventually get what they desire.
from the book:
So while Papa set the table and Mama started supper,
Sister went upstairs to play with her Bearbie doll, and
Brother tried to reach the next level on one of his video
"You know, my dear," said Papa. "There are birthdays and
Christmas coming. Do you have any ideas for the cubs?"
"I thought perhaps a Just Married Bearbie for Sister and
a couple of video games for Brother might be nice," Mama
said. "What do you think?"
"I think we should count our blessings too," said Papa.
I don't know what other children make of this mixed message, but mine were happy that the cubs were going to get what they wanted.
Four Stars. [B-] The book starts off very well. It *does* convey the message that we should be thankful for what we have and not want new things all the time just because our friends get/have them. But in my opinion, you will have to have a discussion about the ending to make sure that message sticks.