Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Stan Berenstain's Birth Anniversary

Today, September 29 marks Stan Berenstain's birth anniversary. He was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1923. Stan Berenstain published his first children's book, The Great Honey Hunt, in 1962. He and his wife, Jan, went on to collaborate on more than 200 books featuring "The Berenstain Bears," a lovely family of bears dealing with the everyday problems that children face. The boeloved characters have had their own television show, videos, DVDs and toys, and remain popular today. Berenstain died at Bucks County, PA on November 26, 2005.
-The Teacher's Calendar, 2008-2009

When I was little, the books in "The Berenstain Bears" series were my all time favorite books. I still have a large collection of them today and can see them as a valuable asset to the education of today's children, as they teach very important messages through friendly, funny characters that will appeal to children. I had a hard time picking out the books for todays post, two older ones that I feel portray some of the most important messages and one brand new one - yup! Brand new! Hopefully you and your children will enjoy these books as much as I did (and still do)!

Berenstain, Stan and Jan.
The Berenstain Bears Forget Their Manners.
Random House.

Summary from Barnes and Noble:

"Mama Bear wasn't quite sure how or why it happened...But the Bear family had become a pushing, shoving, name-calling, ill-mannered mess!" Even Papa bangs on the table at dinner and shouts. Mama finally calls a family meeting and presents her Bear Family Politeness Plan. The plan has a list of all the rude things she wants to stop.

If you're looking to instill the value of using manners in children of young ages, this book is perfect for doing so! Children are sure to love the Berenstain Bears (if they aren't already familiar with the series) and will easily relate to Brother and Sister's behaviors. Couple this with the few books mentioned below, and you'll have a great curriculum for teaching about manners. Children will quickly learn that if they use good manners, they'll make it farther and have an easier time in life!

Other Books that Teach Manners:
Activities to Use in Collaboration with The Berenstain Bears Forget Their Manners:
Berenstain, Stan and Jan.
The Berenstain Bears and the Truth.
Random House.

Summary from Barnes and Noble:

When Brother and Sister Bear accidentally break Mama's favorite lamp, their little lie grows bigger and bigger, until Papa Bear helps them find the words that set everything right again.

I'm not sure why, but many children these days (especially) seem to have a hard time with telling the truth. I guess that's why there's such a need for literature that promotes the idea of telling the truth! This book is ideal for young children as the lie being told is something that children can easily relate to. The important message that children will hopefully catch on to is that if they want their parents to trust them to make some choices for themselves, they must first prove to their parents that they are worthy of being trusted to do the right thing! Again, I would not use this book alone in trying to teach children the importance of telling the truth, but rather alongside some other stories that children will be able to relate to equally.

Other Books that Teach Truth:
Berenstain, Jan and Mike.
The Berenstain Bears' Sick Days.
September 2009.

Summary from HarperCollins:

Sister is home sick from school. Mama wants to take good care of her so she can get well quickly. It turns out that keeping Sister happy all day long is no small job! Soon both Sister and Mama are more than ready for a return to school.

Children will get a taste of their own medicine as they watch Sister Bear on her "sick day!" For kids, sick days mean a day off school, but for Mama's, sick days mean a whole lot of extra running around! Sister Bear finally shows compassion towards Mama at the end of the story when Mama comes down with whatever Sister was sick with! This newest book in the Berenstain Bear series would make a perfect cheer-up, feel-better gift for your sick little one (and will keep then entertained for a bit to give you the few-minute break you need on a sick day)!

If you're interested in finding out more information about any of the books reviewed or if you'd like to purchase the books, click the cover image for a link to Amazon.com.