Official Review: Daniel Meets the Spirit of the Bear

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AvidBibliophile
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Official Review: Daniel Meets the Spirit of the Bear

Post by AvidBibliophile »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Daniel Meets the Spirit of the Bear" by Ron H Rader.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Daniel Meets the Spirit of the Bear: The Children’s Book For Everyone is an illustrated parable by Ron H. Rader. In a secluded cove in the Great Smoky Mountains, there is a little black bear cub named Daniel. He frolics across meadows of wildflowers, wild blackberry brambles, carpets of moss, and trout-filled rivers. Illustrated by Bob George, a combination of 36 colored and black-and-white illustrations occur over 52 pages. Children will enjoy spotting and naming the cardinals, possums, deer, turkeys, bears, raccoons, frogs, owls, blue jays, squirrels, rabbits, mice, skunks, and turtles. Reminiscent of a forested version of The Jungle Book, human figures also begin to appear alongside the animated creatures.

As a young cub, Daniel recalls his parents telling him that “everyone is born with an empty spot in their heart,” a void that others will try to fill with all the wrong stuff. They instruct him to approach life as a lesson and to seek out the “right stuff” in the special things intended to bring true-life fulfillment. One life-altering afternoon, Daniel finds himself startled by a sudden breeze and realizes things are often frightening when they are “unfamiliar and unknown” to you. An all-knowing spirit arrives on that breeze, assuring Daniel of his predetermined destiny and purpose.

The Voice on the wind instructs him to be “the spirit leader of the mountain children.” It urges Daniel to act as a disciple, sharing his inner radiance through hope, faith, and love (all represented within a glowing orb). Physically handing it over to others is meant to signify a selfless “sharing of the spiritual and guiding light.” This is a reminder for children that an omniscient, omnipresent entity exists.

One illustration depicts soldiers over the centuries, as a translucent bear spirit stands guard behind them, saying that in battles fought from WWI through Desert Storm, these brave souls were never alone. The story then shifts to mention of classrooms and spelling bees, and the illustrations transition to a diaphanous force helping a child ride a bicycle, a paw behind a baseball mitt, and a hovering presence in a hospital room of sick souls.

I greatly enjoyed the section that described and depicted a well-tended and cultivated garden with fruits and vegetables wearing representative and metaphorical labels like: “JOY, COURAGE, LOYALTY, PATIENCE, and LOVE.” It was also charming to see use of terminology like: “mountain hollers” and “spectacles,” and the tone of the tale is quite similar to the stories often told in Sunday school.

Fairly early on in the story, Daniel voices he is already “disappointed in himself” and it almost felt too premature in the storyline to introduce such a negative self-image. When the foreign breeze whips up out of nowhere, frightening Daniel, there is mention of him no longer having his parents for comfort. Since no direct, prior mention had been made of their demise or of the implied fact that he was maybe alone simply because he’d grown up into bear adulthood, this mystery might leave children a bit confused. These were the only two aspects I did not resonate with.

Some grammatical errors were present, primarily relating to typographical issues with spacing mistakes, missing punctuation, unnecessary punctuation, inconsistent capitalization, and pronoun discrepancies. Another round of thorough editing could easily correct these concerns and allow the story to shine unblemished, as it deserves to.

This sweet story would be appropriate for children ages 6 and up. A link even appears at the end of the story, urging readers to register online in order to receive an accompanying, free coloring book full of original sketches from when the story was in its initial stages of development!

This book receives 3 out of 4 stars, simply due to the quantitative presence of typographical errors. Intended to entertain, inspire, and motivate readers, young and old, this story positively highlights several of the necessary values and virtues we should all strive to wholeheartedly accept. Through positive guiding principles, readers are encouraged to: “Daily, renew your commitment to good.”

ADMIN NOTE: The book has been updated to correct the errors noted by the reviewer.

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Daniel Meets the Spirit of the Bear
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Alicer
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Post by Alicer »

It's an interesting concept when Daniel parents tell him that everyone is born with an empty spot in their hearts that others will influence negatively but one has to fill it with positivity. Our children are born innocent and oblivious of worldly evils in order to have a loving world we must instill good things to them when that are young. I love the spirit influence of Daniel because it has positive attributes every parent wants for her child. Nice review

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Post by Letora »

I don't think I have ever seen a book with a similar concept. Learning how to fill your heart with the right things is a good lesson to teach children and adults. Though I do think the errors should be corrected before a child is presented this book. Great review!
"Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope." - Dr. Seuss

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Post by Kanda_theGreat »

I can't agree more with @Letora that this book provides a totally new concept.
Your review is thorough.
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Post by RetiredOBNurse »

What a sweet children’s book this is! Daniel sounds like a little black bear who had wonderful parents to guide him down the path to adulthood with open eyes and ears and the understanding that he will cross paths with good things as well as bad things. Their belief to fill your heart with the “right stuff” is a wonderful concept for children to learn at this young age. I hope parents will take the time to help their children understand why this is so important. I loved the picture you painted of the Smoky Mts and fields of flowers with animals everywhere and rivers and fruits and vegetables....your review took me to a peaceful spot we all could benefit from right now. Thanks!

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Post by Miraphery »

This would make an interesting read for children. I am worried that the kids may pick up the wrong spellings because of the typos. Apart from that, they do have a lot of values to pick up from it. Nice review.

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Post by AvidBibliophile »

Alicer wrote: ↑
04 Apr 2020, 03:43
It's an interesting concept when Daniel parents tell him that everyone is born with an empty spot in their hearts that others will influence negatively but one has to fill it with positivity. Our children are born innocent and oblivious of worldly evils in order to have a loving world we must instill good things to them when that are young. I love the spirit influence of Daniel because it has positive attributes every parent wants for her child. Nice review
I will certainly agree with you on that viewpoint, as I too believe that children come into the world as blank slates, as innocent sponges ready and willing to soak up whatever they eventually and gradually become exposed to. That instillation of "good stuff" is a worthwhile goal all growing souls should aspire to attain. Thank you immensely for sharing your kind words and impressions!

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Post by AvidBibliophile »

Letora wrote: ↑
04 Apr 2020, 08:16
I don't think I have ever seen a book with a similar concept. Learning how to fill your heart with the right things is a good lesson to teach children and adults. Though I do think the errors should be corrected before a child is presented this book. Great review!
It was a fascinating concept, especially with the added metaphorical representation of "filling up" on the labeled fruits and veggies of a lovingly cultivated garden of virtuous positivities! Once those errors are quickly addressed, it'll be a great one to share far and wide. Thanks so much!

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Post by AvidBibliophile »

Kanda_theGreat wrote: ↑
04 Apr 2020, 10:33
I can't agree more with @Letora that this book provides a totally new concept.
Your review is thorough.
We can definitely all agree on that point! The novel concept and approach were refreshing attributes. Thanks so much for stopping by to read and comment.

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Post by AvidBibliophile »

RetiredOBNurse wrote: ↑
04 Apr 2020, 10:57
What a sweet children’s book this is! Daniel sounds like a little black bear who had wonderful parents to guide him down the path to adulthood with open eyes and ears and the understanding that he will cross paths with good things as well as bad things. Their belief to fill your heart with the “right stuff” is a wonderful concept for children to learn at this young age. I hope parents will take the time to help their children understand why this is so important. I loved the picture you painted of the Smoky Mts and fields of flowers with animals everywhere and rivers and fruits and vegetables....your review took me to a peaceful spot we all could benefit from right now. Thanks!
Though the realities of life (and especially life in the wild) can be oftentimes brutal, Daniel definitely benefitted from having met his spirit bear on his quest to understand the world around him. I probably enjoyed the first section of the book the most because it contained the greatest portion of peaceful mountain stream and meadow scenes populated by tiny woodland creatures. But all in all, it was an uplifting tale!

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Post by AvidBibliophile »

Miraphery wrote: ↑
04 Apr 2020, 11:20
This would make an interesting read for children. I am worried that the kids may pick up the wrong spellings because of the typos. Apart from that, they do have a lot of values to pick up from it. Nice review.
Thanks so much for coming by to read and comment! Luckily, the book has great bones and a strong and well-developed message at its core. Once those measly errors are corrected and addressed, it'll be good to go (ready to be released back into the wild, so to speak).

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Post by aacodreanu »

Quite a lot is happening in the book, quite exciting as far as I understand from your review. I wish I could put it to the test with my grand-nephew, who is 5. Hopefully, by the time he is 6, the recommended age for reading it, he will know enough English to give it a try.
Great review, as always!
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Post by AvidBibliophile »

aacodreanu wrote: ↑
06 Apr 2020, 04:33
Quite a lot is happening in the book, quite exciting as far as I understand from your review. I wish I could put it to the test with my grand-nephew, who is 5. Hopefully, by the time he is 6, the recommended age for reading it, he will know enough English to give it a try.
Great review, as always!
He will love all the little woodland animals and the sweet scenes depicting a guiding spirit full of radiant light! Your little grand-nephew will have a lovely future full of books and stories and imagination it sounds like! Thank you so much for coming by to check this one out.

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Post by Dannyphery »

Wow... Such great lesson embedded in a little story. I think it's an awesome book though there should be a pointer for the errors to be changed so the kids don't learn them.
Nice review

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Post by AvidBibliophile »

Dannyphery wrote: ↑
10 Apr 2020, 04:28
Wow... Such great lesson embedded in a little story. I think it's an awesome book though there should be a pointer for the errors to be changed so the kids don't learn them.
Nice review
Thanks so much! Indeed, many valuable lessons were interwoven throughout.

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