I will make no excuses. I am a Berenstain Bear fan of long standing, so I
was delighted when "The Berenstain Bears' Old-Fashioned Christmas" was
released in time for this year's holiday. Jan and her son younger son, Mike,
were able to
continue the fun and family values that Jan started with her husband, Stan,
when they conceived the books for children under the encouragement of Ted Geisel, known as Dr. Seuss.
All the Bear characters have well-developed personalities. The adults are
role models for the younger cubs. We know that Mama is the glue that holds
the family together. She is wise, strong and very loving. Papa is a free
spirit who does not always think before leaping into a situation. Gramps is
a traditionalist and Gran rules the house. The cubs know they are well-loved
and are going to be forgiven when they make mistakes, while being guided
toward being "better bears."
In "The Berenstain Bears' Old-Fashioned Christmas," the Bear family is
traveling to Grizzly Gramps and Gran's for the Christmas holiday. Children
will recognize many of their favorite holiday activities as the Bears
prepare for the big day: carol singing, cookie baking, tree cutting and
decorating, hanging stockings, cooking favorite foods for a large dinner,
putting out cookies for Santa, and of course special presents on Christmas
morning. In this particular book, the Berenstains even include the lyrics to
the "Twelve Days of Christmas" and "Jingle Bells," how to make homemade
ornaments for the tree or animal friends, and decorations for gingerbread
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The illustrations will bring back fond memories to families
everywhere. Those who have read any one of the over 250 Berenstain
Bears books will be visiting with old friends. Readers know and love
the characters, even feeling they are party to inside jokes when a
character responds to situations in familiar ways.
The Bear family has been updated a bit, adding new characters and
bringing them and the messages into the new century; but the basic
feel of the books remains the same. Themes are timeless: doing the
right thing is sometimes difficult and learned through experience;
kindness is always rewarded; friends can be found in unexpected
places; truth is always important.
The Berenstain Bears' human value stories help adults start
discussions with children or help explain in children's terms why
certain actions are better than others. Are they somewhat formula?
Yes. Can the message be a little heavy? Yes. However, it is
delivered with love, comfort and such a wonderful spice of humor
that readers will return again and again.
Come home for the holidays with the "The Berenstain Bears'
Old-Fashioned Christmas." You can find this book, along with "The
Berenstain Bears' Christmas Tree" or "Down a Sunny Dirt Road," an
autobiography by Jan and Stan Berenstain, as well as numerous other
selections by these authors, at the Lincoln Public Library, 728
[Text from file received from Louella Moreland,
Lincoln Public Library District]
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