Merry Wanderer of the Night + TIME

Memory Monday — The Berenstain Bears

There were always a lot of books at my house growing up and the books ranged from the youngest picture books to heavy adult books. My parents have a really pretty collection of leather bound books that I used to sit and just stare at.

There were a lot of picture books around my house and I used to simply love going through them and reading them. A lot I 'read' for the first time when I was far to you to recognize even basic words, but I loved them just the same. And when I learned to read for real and was able to figure out for myself where the stories went? Love.

One of the picture book 'series' that was frequently at my house, both because we owned a bunch and because we'd get them from the library were the Berenstain Bears books written by Stan and Jan Berenstain. I loved the stories of Brother and Sister.

It wasn't until I was much older that I started realizing the books were actually quite useful as teaching tools. Don't ask me how I missed it before, but with names like The Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room, or The Berenstain Bears Get the Gimmies and The Berenstain Bears and Too Much TV the messages seem to me now to be kind of hard to miss. (And I will say that my parent's reaction to the 'gimmies' at the grocery store was much better. In the book, Mama & Papa end up buying a treat every time they go to the store, but only one. At my house, if you threw a giant fit in the grocery store, Mom would leave her full cart of groceries in the middle of the aisle, leave the store and you just knew you were SO busted. And I tell you what — it only ever had to happen once)

But I digress.

I remember reading The Berenstain Bears and the Sitter and thinking it was so ominous. This big mean lady come to watch the children. And I remember finishing the book and still finding the cover and the idea to be unpleasant, even though she really ends up being a nice woman. (As a related [ish] side note, I was really hard on babysitters...)

There are so many stories to read and so many adventures to have with these two cubs. There are stories for every occasion, every holiday and every... parenting crisis a person can think of and it just makes me happy to think of these books again. They remind me of being young, of sitting around and seeing books left lying on the floor (along with Mercer Meyer's Little Critter Books, but more on those later) and I have all kinds of fun memories of growing up tied to these books.

Anyone else remember reading these? And did you know you were being 'taught' when you were younger, or does that come as a surprise to you to?

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Memory Monday — The Berenstain Bears + TIME