Saturday, June 29, 2013

Berenstain Bears' Report Card Trouble

The Berenstain Bears' Report Card Trouble

by Stan Berenstain (Author) , Jan Berenstain (Author)
3 stars
Grades, soup, and stereotypes.

Brother Bear has not been studying, spending most of his time in physical education. When the report card comes, it is expectedly unpleasant, and Papa Bear unsurprisingly explodes. Will Brother Bear stay grounded for kingdom come, or will he be able turn around his grades.

While the emphasis on having a balanced approach to school, judiciously balancing sports and studies, what some parents may not like is the excessive stereotyping of parents in the book. The father, Papa Bear, is angry, shouts, screams, and grounds Brother Bear. Mama Bear allows Papa Bear to berate his son, and timidly steps in only when things threaten to get worse. While it may be true that some fathers behave that way, and it certainly is a stereotypical image of the stern father concerned more with outcomes than with effort, the book does little to either try and change that or send a more nuanced message.

Book page (courtesy Overdrive online book sample)
ebook: 978-0-385-37041-7

© 2013, Abhinav Agarwal (अभिनव अग्रवाल). All rights reserved.