I was looking for some new books for Gavin when I stumbled across the Berenstain Bears series by Stan and Jan Berenstain which I thought looked pretty good. Since I haven’t actually read them, I can’t really say if they really are good, but I have two books on order – Berenstain Bears visit the dentist and Berenstain Bears go to the doctor – so I’ll follow up with a review once we’ve received them and read them. They were on the recommended reading list at the back of The Cat in the Hat Learning Library: Inside Your Outside so I figure they have to be fairly decent at least.
I thought the series was interesting because the books cover a whole range of topics that are great for teaching children about a variety of life topics. Here are some of the topics which I thought thought were pertinent to Gavin:
- Berenstain Bears forget their manners
- Berenstain Bears learn about strangers
- Berenstain Bears: Kindness Counts
- Berenstain Bears: Too Much Junk Food
- Berenstain Bears: Too Much TV
- Berenstain Bears: Bad Influence
- Berenstain Bears: Trouble with Money
- Berenstain Bears: Too Much Vacation
- Berenstain Bears: Too Much Pressure
- Berenstain Bears: Birds and the Bees
- Berenstain Bears: Bad Habit
- Berenstain Bears hug and make up
- Berenstain Bears new baby
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a reliable source locally (they were listed on the system as “out of stock”) so I had to purchase them online. They ended up being cheaper anyway based on the listed price since the Book Depository offers free shipping.
While I was searching for their book titles online, I also noticed that they had Berenstain Bears DVDs, too. Maybe we can look for those if Gavin enjoys the series. Check out the sample clip on Youtube on “Berenstain Bears: Too Much Junk Food“.
When it comes to stories about life, it is important to make sure that the stories focus sufficiently on the solutions so that the take home message is not missed by the child. One of the problems with such programs, as highlighted by Nurture Shock, was that many stories spent too much time setting up the conflict but too little time discussing the resolutions that all the children end up learning is the conflict even though the conflicts are all resolved at the end of the stories. Perhaps to reinforce the take home message, it is important to talk about the stories with your child after reading/watching the stories.