Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Berenstain Bears Get in a Fight by Stan & Jan Berenstain

The Berenstain Bears are one of those series that kids love and a lot of adults don't. I have a very nostalgic appreciation for them, but if I were to meet them as an adult, I am not sure I would feel the same about them. As an adult, they seem a touch formulaic and a little simplistic--despite what Mama Bear would have you think, sitting your child down and explaining something in five sentences does not always solve the complex issue. But hey! If it works for Mama Bear...

I just read something the other day that explains the Mama/Papa dynamic. The Berenstains based the bears on Grizzley bears, who have a very protective, caring mother and a somewhat useless father. And they didn't change that idea very often. Only rarely was Papa portrayed as the wise, problem solving bear. After reading that, I don't mind Papa being quite so bumbling. However, it still seems weird that they anthropomorphisized the living day lights out of the Berenstain Bears, but kept that particular piece of bear nature intact.

This book is a favorite with the kids, since Brother and Sister Bear behave badly. Little kids like stories about bad little kids. Or at least my kids do.

Generally, Brother and Sister are pals. 

But one morning, for no reason, Brother decided to be mad at Sister. 

She returned the favor with vigor.

This picture is quintessential sibling relations. 

The fighting goes on and on until Mama can't take it anymore. 

So she sits the cubs down and sorts them out in a few easy to understand sentences.

And then illustrates the lesson with a conveniently placed example in nature, the sun breaking through a storm. 

The rainbow after the storm. 

Brother and Sister's version of the rainbow after their storm--being friends again.  

Maybe I am just a little jealous of how effective Mama Bear is and how responsive her cubs are to her words of wisdom. Somehow, my little cubs are not quite as willing to see sense in the midst of their fights. Sigh. 

Maybe I should just time my wisdom better. Like when a storm is breaking.

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