This book combines two of my not-so-favorite things (non-fiction kids books and the Berenstain bears) to make something that is actually… good. Quite good. A nearly 200-page monster that contains three books from the 1970s–The Berenstain Bears’ Almanac, The Berenstain Bears’ Nature Guide, and The Berenstain Bears’ Science Fair—The Berenstain Bears’ Big Book of Science and Nature is informative, funny, and truly interesting for everyone. Which makes me quite thankful. Happy American Thanksgiving!
Author: Stan & Jan Berenstain
Illustrator: Stan & Jan Berenstain
I began hunting down these books well before the boys were born. I stumbled on one (Fruit? Colors? I really don’t remember) and completely fell for their simple yet brilliant design–regular page, transparent page, regular page. For example, in The Rain Forest when you first open the book you see only lush, green plants. Turn the transparent page and suddenly the animals and birds that have been hiding behind the plants burst into view.
The boys really enjoy non-fiction books and I gravitate to fiction, so these have been a great way to balance the scales a bit. They are great for nap time and for paging through alone because their spiral bindings and very strong pages mean they are about as durable as board books. Plus, their constant surprises help non-readers fully engage in what is going on. We currently have (gulp) at least 35 books in the series (I can’t be certain I found all of them for the photo shoot) yet I still pick up more whenever I can. Many of the books in the series are out of print in English, but they are fairly easy to find online. Both my boys consistently prefer the Airplanes and Flying Machines and Castles books above all the others, although Boats has been a recent favorite.