Friday, May 10, 2013

Down a Sunny Dirt Road . . .

In order to preserve the structure of the house when kinfauna visit, I usually spend that Shabbos or yontif afternoon going hoarse reading books. 

It is amazing what the power of reading has over children. My three-year-old niece was in the violent throes of a tantrum during a Friday night meal; I scooped her up, carried her upstairs, dumped her on a bed, then sat down and began to read out loud. I acted as though I was reading to myself, not showing her the pictures. Rather quickly, her feet ceased flailing, and she was peering over my shoulder and complaining she couldn't see. 

While there are many a good book, for some odd reason the kids love The Berenstain Bears


Why "some odd reason"? These books are filled with scolding, admonishments, expectations of good behavior, room-cleaning, manners, and other tediousness. 

But they clamor for them. I've bought quite a stack from Amazon, and there is usually a 4 for 3 promotion. Sometimes I buy one just to make the $25 to get free shipping, so they are convenient filler. 

"You bought a new one!" they squeal, and they will then do anything ("If you go to bed on time, then I'll read it to you") to hear it. 

But don't buy Bedtime Battle. Apparently the authors gave up trying to find a solution to that one, so it is just a tale of how Brother and Sister drive the parents crazy pushing off going to sleep. That's it. No solution. Very much against BB policy. 

Avoid The Berenstain Bears and the Bully too. It's kinda disturbing, as they go into detail that the reason why the girl on the playground is punching Sister is because she is getting clobbered at home. Shiver.  

Moving on. The original authors, Stan and Jan Berenstain, are no longer with us, and it is obvious that the son Mike doesn't have quite the same touch. So be discerning with the newer books. 

3 comments:

Elisheva said...

Oh my goodness, you just brought back old memories of that book "The Berenstain Bears and the Bully". I would never have remembered it otherwise, but now that you mentioned the storyline, I realize it certainly made an impact on my small mind. Terrible.

R said...

BB has some questionable lessons. It's very nice to promote cleaning your room or less tv. But how detrimental is the main theme of putting down Papa Bear?

Princess Lea said...

Elisheva: I hid it and my niece does this evil cackle thing and demands to know why I don't let her read it. It's horrible!

R: In "The Slumber Party," Mama actually had egg on her face and Papa is right. And in "The Trouble with Grownups," both are on the same page. Yes, they do belittle Papa Bear sometimes, but not all the time. The overall impression is still best.