I Love You Just Because by Donna Keith, illustrated by Alison Edgson is a delightful book great for adoptive, foster, and blended families. Though I can also see this book as good for children curious in families different than their own. In this story, children are reminded of their parents’ as well as God’s love for them just because. The book is full of scripture from both the old and new testament of the Bible in a simplified format. The padded board book format makes this an ideal read or listen to story for children ages three to around eight years old.
In this book, we meet a bear family. There’s a mama brown bear, daddy brown bear, and three cubs. The cubs are a panda, polar bear, and a brown bear. All different in color and type. It doesn’t say they are adopted, fostered, etc but it’s pretty relevant. The book starts from sun up and ends at sun down. There are scenes of the family fishing in the stream, collecting apples, preparing food, and so forth. As we follow the story of the bear family throughout and learn how each of the cubs are different in what they do and what they like. The cubs are constantly reminded all through the book that they are loved exactly the way they are…just because unconditionally. They don’t have to earn their families love nor should they. The story is written in a rhyming way that makes it easy to read and for little ones to understand.
The illustration are soft and storybook like. Each scene covers the span of two pages one having text from the story and the other a scripture verse. The illustrator does a good job of capturing expressions on the bears faces and nothing seems out of sorts. My five and eight year old said this book is great. I like it because it ties scripture in pretty well with the story. It has an excellent message of love and acceptance from God and family no matter how diverse.
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