The Berenstain Bears Trim the Tree

November 12, 2017

I'll trim your tree, if you know what I mean. And I don't.


It's a pretty inane and simple lift-the-flap book. I feel children of an age where they would still be interested in lift-the-flap books would also be tearing the books apart. But maybe my kids are more destructive than average children.

The bears decorate their house for Christmas. Papa Bear comes home with a tree. It's too tall. He trims it. They go up in the attic to get all the Christmas ornaments. They see other stuff in the attic. They come down. They decorate the tree. The end.

The story is basically just a vehicle for the lift-the-flap gimmick. There's nothing to it; there's no message; nobody learns anything; nothing happens. Pretty boring. A weird thing that they keep doing is saying things like, "But where is Honey Bear?" and then you lift the flap and there she is, sitting under the wreath. The strangest one, I think, is, "'This tree is a little tall,' says Papa. 'I will trim it down. Where is my saw?'" And in the picture, his hat is in the process of falling off his head, and underneath the flap that is his hat, he is holding his arm, holding onto the saw. Why would he even be in that position? That's so bizarre. You don't put a saw under your hat.

Sister Bear is looking for her favorite Christmas ornament. They can't find it. Then Honey Bear has found it. It keeps saying things like, "'Look,' says Sister, 'Here is my old dollhouse.'" And she's standing next to a chest, and you can't actually see the dollhouse until you lift the flap of the chest. Maybe from her perspective, she can see it?

The best part: Papa cuts the tree (confusingly referred to as "trimming the tree"), and he does this by cutting the top of the tree off. Nobody cares. It just looks stupid, until they decorate it, and then it magically looks like a normal tree with a point at the top. It kind of morphs from having this really thick trunk at the top to having a magically tapered one. It looks like a Christmas tree with the top chopped off. If you're going to cut your tree shorter, you need to cut it from the bottom. And seriously, Papa Bear is a carpenter. He should know how tall their house (that he built) is. He should have measured it, and cut the tree accordingly. It's just dumb.


Decorating Christmas trees is fun.

Publication Year
  • 2007
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