Read The Berenstain Bears Lend a Helping Hand by Stan Berenstain Free Online
Book Title: The Berenstain Bears Lend a Helping Hand|
The author of the book: Stan Berenstain
Edition: Random House Books for Young Readers
Date of issue: July 21st 1998
The size of the: 748 KB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 2213 times
Reader ratings: 4.6
ISBN 13: 9780679889564
Format files: PDF
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I thought this book was mostly okay the first few times I read it, but I think its moral message of helping others out is lost on me after really thinking about it...
First of all, it starts off with Mama Bear expressing a very serious concern about her children's selfishness to Papa Bear, who just drifts off to sleep. All right, it's understandable that that happens, even among the most loving of fathers and husbands, because hey after all fathers do get exhausted so cut them some slack. It wasn't bad of Mama Bear that she didn't get upset. However, it should not be portrayed as something harmless and acceptable if it's a frequent habit, which is what putting it in a book like this does. The entire focus is on Brother and Sister Bear's selfishness, yet Papa Bear isn't even listening to his wife. Then, she is alone with her thoughts about what she can do to encourage her cubs to think about others instead of only themselves. One of her thoughts is that when Papa Bear tries to "talk" to them, it doesn't help and only seems to make things worse. It shows her thinking about Papa Bear screaming at them. Again, though, the focus is on the cubs' selfishness, when here is a serious fault in Papa Bear - yelling out of his own impatience with them. Another fault that most parents struggle with - but it is still only the cubs who are seen as having the big selfishness problem and need changing.
Then it gets worse. Brother and Sister Bear are scared of Miz McGrizz, but Mama Bear decides that they should help her out anyway. They go to Papa Bear to try to change Mama's mind (playing parents against each other?) But Papa Bear agrees with Mama Bear. Anyway... why aren't the children allowed to have a say? Yes, there is a good reason parents are in charge and not children, but this goes beyond children needing to obey their parents in rules that parents have set for their own good. They are basically forced to help out in the house of someone they are nervous to be around. Why aren't Mama and Papa Bear there helping clean the attic? Brother and Sister Bear are doing basically ALL the work in the attic of a lady they are nervous about. That's a job no children let alone teens should be made to do, especially without their parents around AND without the expectation of being paid for such a big job (there was a huge emphasis on not getting paid, not only but IMO Mama Bear pretty much lied at one point in saying the cubs wouldn't even think about getting paid.) Also, why don't they ever get to talk to Mama and Papa about their fears so they can know that Miz McGriz is okay to be around? Mama and Papa Bear don't show up again until the yard sale. They do at least help out with that.
It does end rather nicely - Brother and Sister Bear end up being gifted with the unique treasures they found in her attic.
Helping others out and being selfless is one thing, but I don't think this is the best way to teach about helping others out at all. And while sometimes people might be surprised, nor will people always be guaranteed to GET some coveted material thing out of helping someone out.
I will say... I did get out of this book that a garage or yard sale can be a good way to meet people in your neighborhood, while also downsizing, decluttering, and get rid of excess stuff that might be useful to someone else! :p But I just decluttered some of our stuff by tossing this book. :p
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Read information about the authorStan and Jan Berenstain (often called The Berenstains) were American writers and illustrators best known for creating the children's book series the Berenstain Bears. Their son Mike joined them as a creative team in the late 1980s.
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