The Joyful Stepmom
Review: Bell Pack Books
Posted on November 10th, 2016

​*I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.*

I love children's books. Especially those with a good story and good illustrations. My stepson is a teenager now, but I still browse the children's section just for fun or for nieces and nephews. 

There are a handful of children's book for our stepfamilies. Mainly, they cover the topic of a new stepmom or having two homes. These works can be so helpful for little ones! And that is why I am excited about a new series by Carrie Ellis-Berg: The Bell Pack. Carrie introduces us to a stepfamily...and then she takes it further! This new series begins to address issues we face in a two home family. And I like that. I like that someone is filling the need and giving us these resources. 

I was able to take a look at the second book in the Bell Pack Series and really enjoyed it. In Bell and the Great Big Mess we find ourselves at a typical transition time when the children return home after a weekend at the other house. Carrie takes us through a situation that unfolds between one of the children and the stepmom. There is a disagreement about cleaning the bedroom and we see the communication between child and stepmom unfold. It's realistic, it happens in many of our homes and I know so many of our readers will appreciate this resource. 
I wanted to highlight a few things I absolutely loved about the Bell Pack Series! The story is told from the viewpoint of the family dog. We see the dog welcome the children and watch the family interact. First, I just love dogs. Second, our family dog has been a big part of our bonding as a family and I love how that plays into this book. 

I also wanted to highlight the talking points throughout the book. Carrie is an elementary teacher and I believe her heart for children speaks through the pages. She has inserted take away or talking point boxes throughout the story to help you engage with your stepchild. Therefore, not only is this "Just a story" but it is truly a wonderful tool to use in your stepfamily. 

I also appreciated the illustrations by Devin Kent. They are a colorful and fun part of the book. 

The Bell Pack Series will continue with books that address Christmas and Meeting the Grandparents which I know are hot topics in our families.  I look forward to reading them! 


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