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The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree

By Stan and Jan Berenstain

The Berenstain Bears are some of my favorite books from my childhood. Most of these books are creative, fun to read, and the pictures are captivating. My favorite Berenstain Bears book is The Spooky Old Tree. This is a book that can be enjoyed by first readers through early grade school. (Actually, I still love this book.)

The story line is simple - three bears on an adventure. These bears start out well-equipped and ready for their journey. As they travel through the tree, the bears run into a few problems. When they reach these obstacles they have to decide whether to go forward or turn back.

The book uses a few words (for example, light, rope, stick, dare) again and again allowing the "first" readers to identify these words easily. The book also brings the reader into the story through the use of emotion. (The book is spooky.) The Spooky Old Tree also stirs the imagination of children by allowing the reader to try to determine what the bears will do next, will the three bears go forward or will they turn around? (Then we can ask our kids, what would you do?)

The animation is also fun. The spooky old tree looks like a spooky face, with the mouth as the entrance. The pages are filled with fun "little" things that grab your attention from the cobwebs to the contorted tree roots. The facial expressions of the bears plainly show how they feel. The inside of the tree contains everything from a twisty old stair, armor, to a secret passageway - and what child doesn't love a secret passageway!!

The Berenstain Bears and The Spooky Old Tree is "well worth owning".


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