“ Genre: Junior Books / Author: Stan Berenstain, Jan Berenstain / Paperback / Reading Level: Ages 4-8 / 32 Pages / Book is published 1983-06-23 by Random House USA Inc „
Ages 2 - 8
I think this one of the very best books in this series, and I think the whole series is great. This is one of my son's very favourite books and has been read so many times I may very well have to buy another copy before the youngest outgrows it.
The story: The Bear family love eachother very much. Brother and Sister usually get along very well. They share eachother's toys, play together, and are kind and polite. At least they are most of the time. But as siblings do, occasionally they do have the odd squabble. This time the fight starts off with a very minor incident, but grows and grows. The cubs are calling names, taking back the things they usually share, and driving Mama and Papa mad. Papa responds by getting as loud as the cubs, but as usual Mama takes matters in hand with her calm manner and good old fashioned common sense. Of course the cubs make up in the end, but not before learning that even people who love eachother very much argue at times, it is part of living together. Sometimes when people are angry they say things they really do not mean, but they still love eachother just as much.
My opinion: I love the way this book deals with anger as a normal emotion. All children will feel angry at times, and I think it's healthy to be able to aknowledge that. I also like the way it helps children realise even if a sibling ( or perhaps a friend) says something mean in anger it isnt always meant, and no matter how angry people get they still love eachother.
The children's opinion: I suspect the youngest child (22 months) enjoys this book just because of the noise level. I read it with alot of shouting and stomping and funny faces. My older son finds it hillarious and laughs non stop at the name calling and shouting, especially when Papa gets in on it. He chooses this book time and again, so I could recite the entire book from memory.
On a side note there is also a Living Book cd-rom available of this story, but it is quite old and difficult to find. It does still work on most pc's including vista and is really brilliant. It has teh whole story laid out in pages, which children can read themselves or have read by the pc. It also has several things to click and play with on each page. My son could play this alone from age 3 so it is very easy and great for the youngest children. It has the added advantage of highlighting each word as it is read to help children learn to read.