Sister talks to everyone, even strangers, and Brother doesn't think that's good. Papa agrees and shows Sister a newspaper article about a missing bear cub. Unfortunately, everyone scares Sister after that. But Mama sets her straight by explaining that there are only a few "rotten apple" strangers.
K-Gr 2 The familiar Berenstain bear family may help to make a scary subject easier to bear. Brother discourages extrovert Sister from greeting every stranger she meets. Papa tells his children the rules for safe conduct among strangers. After Sister sees the headlines about missing cubs, she over-reacts, seeing every stranger as a threat. This is conveyed by a full-page spread: the top half shows reality, the bottom half shows Sister's scary version. Mama explains the concept of the bad apples in every barrel, literally. A funny looking apple is fine on the inside, but a perfect looking apple is bad on the inside. Finally, the attraction of a toy almost causes usually cautious Brother to go for a ride with a stranger. Sister isn't tattling when she tells her parents, she's just concerned for Brother's safety. The bears' rules are listed on the last page, including one about the privacy of a bear's body, a topic not discussed in the text. A good book to start awareness in young children. Elise Wendel, Orchard Road School, Skillman, N.J.