The Berenstain Bears and the Bad Dream


Written and Illustrated by Stan and Jan Berenstain

Random House, 1988

Brother Bear was just crazy about Space Grizzlies.

The plot in a nutshell: The bear kids have bad dreams.

Brother Bear collects Space Grizzlies toys and is thrilled to learn that a Space Grizzlies movie is coming out. Sister Bear is a little afraid of the Space Grizzlies toys and has no interest in seeing the movie. So when they go to the theater, Brother goes to see it with his friends while Mama, Papa and Sister see a movie called The Magic Toeshoes about a ballerina. That night, when they go to sleep, Sister has a bad dream and she runs to her parents and tells them about it. Mama tells her that it does sound scary, but it’s also interesting, because it shows how her mind churns together all the things she saw and did during the day. As they’re talking about it, they hear Brother yelling in his sleep and then he comes running in, telling them that he had a bad dream, too. And Sister tells him everything she’s just learned about dreams.


Of course Mama Bear wears a cap to bed.

I don’t think it would be right to have a bear themed month and NOT include a Berenstain Bears book. So I chose one that our family had when our kids were little. Bad dreams weren’t a big issues for our family, but it was nice to have a book like this that demystified the concept a little bit and helped kids understand why they happen. Stan and Jan Berenstain collaborated on books that they hoped would help parents deal with specific issues through comical stories. This story shows its age a little bit, but the subject matter doesn’t lose any of its relevance and I still like the way that Mama explains how your mind likes to jumble up your thoughts and play with your reality. (Heck, I’m at the age where my brain does that even when I’m awake!) It was nice to read this one again.

And what did we learn? What I take away from this book is that your brain likes to mess around with you sometimes, so it’s important to remember what’s real and what’s not.


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