I recently started getting some of the Berenstain Bears books from the library to see if E would be interested in them. I ran into a couple snags. One was that they were way more preachy than I remembered and the other was that they didn’t really capture E’s attention. In all fairness she did love when “The Berenstain Bears Go to the Doctor” (amazon affiliate link) and it portrayed getting shots well though the doctor in the book calls the kids from the waiting room to see Sister Bear get her shots and I am thinking to myself “that is a HIPAA violation” because I’m weird like that. My favorite growing up was “The Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room” (amazon affiliate link), by the way.
Backing up for a minute, the books are about a family of bears. Most of them include Mama, Papa, Brother, and Sister Bear. The latest books include another bear, Honey Bear, you can see her in “The Berenstain Bears: All Aboard!” (amazon affiliate link) which, by the way, is random as plots go but E did like the Bears’ train ride to visit their Aunt. I wonder how big the bear family will be by the time I have grandkids or if they’ll stop with Honey Bear.
It was via my mother in law’s enrollment in Early Moments (E gets three books a month in the mail that are addressed to her, she really loves it) that we were introduced to earlier books in the series before Sister Bear came along. They turned out to be my favorites! E’s as well. They are funny and fast paced. They do get repetitive so I will share our favorites, the images link to their respective amazon affiliate pages.
The Bears’ Picnic
The Bear family, led by Papa, are looking for the perfect picnic spot but each spot is wrong in some way. The rhymes make it an easy read and as they keep looking and get hungrier Mama and Small Bear just want to stop but Papa pushes on through some silly situations (including a thunderstorm). Eventually they find the perfect spot. Some reviewers online don’t like how Papa Bear seems so foolish but I think kids are in on the joke and don’t see Dads as silly.
Bears in the Night
E loved this one from the get-go. It starts with a spooky noise, then a bunch of bears that should be asleep in their room climb out the window and go over, under, and through different areas to finally reach the top of “Spook Hill.” When they discover what made the noise they rush over, under, through, etc. to get back to bed. Not one for bed-time because it gets E really excited (not scared, she just has fun making the “whoooooo” sound in the book.
The Big Honey Hunt
This is a lot like the Picnic book, Papa finds the most circuitous way to get honey as opposed to just buying it at the store from the start. Small Bear follows along in the adventures and keeps asking if they have found the honey they are looking for. There are others that follow this pattern, we’ve checked out one with biking, a vacation, and beingdetectives and they’re not as clever as the Picnic or Honey Hunt ones.