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The Berenstain Bears and the Bully Paperback – October 19, 1993

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Lexile Measure: 590L (What's this?)
  • Series: First Time Books(R)
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (October 19, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679848053
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679848059
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Illus. in black-and-white. When Sister Bear gets beaten up by Tuffy, the new cub in town, Brother huffs off to set this bully straight.  But he's in for a surprise--Tuffy's a little girl, and Brother just can't bring himself to fight her.  

About the Author

Stan and Jan Berenstain were both born in 1923 in Philadelphia.  They didn't know each other as children, but met later at school, at the Philadelphia College of Art.  They liked each other right away, and found out that the both enjoyed the same kinds of books, plays, music and art.  During World War II, Stan was a medical assistant in the Army, and Jan worked in an airplane factory.  When the war was over, they got married and began to work together as artists and writers, primarily drawing cartoons for popular magazines.  After having their two sons Leo and Michael, the Berenstains decided to write some funny children's books that their children and other children could read and enjoy.  Their first published children's book was called The Big Honey Hunt.  It was about a family of bears, who later became known as the "Berenstain Bears."  

Stan and Jan planned all of their books together. They both wrote the stories and created the pictures.  They continued to live outside of Philadelphia in the country.  There are now over 300 Berenstain Bears books.

Customer Reviews

This one, however, isn't worth the trouble.
The book even said that sister was too preoccupied with her own punishment to worry about Tuffy being abused at home.
This is not the way I want my child to deal with a bully so we're getting rid of the book.
Jessica L. Lange

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By K. Scruggs on February 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
After encountering the first episodes of bullying in my own daughter's life, I decided to go read up on all of the things I could do to address the problem myself and teach my daughter how to address this problem herself.

In this reading and talking with other parents, I decided that the best approach to addressing bullying is to try to focus the bad behavior onto the bully and help my daughter learn that bullies sometimes are victims of their own childhoods.

And this is exactly what this book does.

At the start of the story, Sister is beat up by a new bear named "Tuffy." And as most parents, the Momma and Papa bear tell sister to ignore the bully. However, like most kids, this advice seems a little hollow to Brother and Sister. The two of them conspire to teach Sister self defense techniques so that she won't be victimized again. And over the course of the weekend, Sister learns to fight and protect herself.

At the end of the weekend, Sister is reminded by her brother that she still needs to avoid Tuffy since this is what the parents want (and I would add that the underlying message is that knowing how to protect yourself isn't a license to look for trouble).

Sister does avoid Tuffy until a few days later she catches Tuffy throwing stones at a baby bird that cannot fly. Sister, wanting to protect the baby bird, confronts Tuffy. Tuffy, when confronted, decides to attack Sister. However, because Sister learned self-defense, Sister is ready for Tuffy and ends up punching Tuffy in the nose.

A teacher catches the fight and the two are sent to see the principle. While sitting on the bench outside the principle's office, Sister learns a little about Tuffy.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Michael H. Shirley on July 2, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book teaches children (with adult interpretation) that:

1) Bullying is bad.

2) Learning to defend yourself is good

3) Defending the helpless is good

4) Avoiding a bully is good

5) Throwing the first punch is bad

6) Bullies aren't necessarily evil (and aren't always as tough as they seem)

7) Hiding from trouble doesn't always work

8) Zero tolerance is idiotic (the principal dealt with things intelligently, if not perfectly; his not calling Tuffy's parents is the reason I'm giving this four instead of five stars)

This isn't a perfect book, but it's good, and reading it with your child can lead to good discussions (never read your children a book that attempts to teach something without asking questions about what they learned). I recommend this book, but only if you're willing to talk with your kids about it. And if you're teaching your kids not to defend themselves (and others) against attack, you really ought to rethink your position.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Lilly on January 19, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book left me a bit baffled. When I was a little girl, I read almost all of the Berenstain Bears books. I liked reading about being afraid of the dentist, or the dark, or not eating a lot of junk food, or watching too much TV. But this book was different.

First of all, the only thing I liked about this story is that Sister Bear stood up to the bully, a girl named Tuffy, and defended someone weak and defenseless. However, I found the ending of the story weak and unrealistic.The punishments Tuffy and Sister got for their physical fight at school are atypical of what would really happen in a public school. In reality, both of them would have ten day suspensions, and probably lose some other privileges, too. In the book, Sister got a warning and Tuffy missed recess for a week. Next, Tuffy admitted to sister that she gets beaten at home. Well, the end of the book said that Tuffy's parents were NOT called and Tuffy had to see the school psychologist for "quite a while." In reality, if the school had sense enough to get Tuffy help with the psychologist, and Tuffy admitted to being abused at home to said psychologist, the school would call DCFS and have Tuffy removed from her home. This book is an inaccurate portrayal of two very serious situations, and never addresses the fate of Tuffy beyond her weekly sessions with the psychologist.

Furthermore, how depressing and scary is it to a little kid that other kids get badly abused? And not all bullies are victims of abuse. Why would the writers send this message?

Not only that, but this is a "first time" book, which means a child should be able to read this on his or her own. I can just imagine some kid going up to his mother and saying, "Mommy, what does p-s-y-c-h-o-l-o-g-i-s-t spell?
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29 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Maggie Mae on January 29, 2000
Format: School & Library Binding
I couldn't believe this book. Basically it has the kid who got beat up by the bully go home and learn to beat up bullies, then go to school and actually beat up the bully. In the end, no one gets into trouble...they even mention that the parents weren't called. What kind of lesson are they trying to teach? I was horrified...I was reading this book to my child, and at the end we both said "huh?" I was hoping to teach him about practical ways to handle bullies, but all the book told him was that he should be one himself. Read this one for yourself (but before you read it aloud to the kids...)
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