The Berenstain Bears and Baby Makes Five


Don't do this to your kids.

What?! This isn't... bad... it's just stupid. So there's a realistic problem, and a stupid resolution to it. I've seen that before in Berenstain Bears books. So the third Bear child is born, Honey Bear, and Sister is upset because nobody is paying any attention to her. Brother, the oldest child is like, "Meh, whatever, I've had this happen before so I can deal with it," but Sister is legitimately upset that nobody is paying attention to her. Everybody is constantly paying attention to the baby. The thing is, in reality, that is an issue. Kids can get overlooked by families with new babies. And you have to make time for your other kids. She's not just jealous; she has a real problem. They finally realize that Sister is upset about this, and what they do to solve the problem is to watch videos of her when she was a baby. And that fixes the problem and then she likes the baby.

No! That's not how you fix the problem! You can't just show the older child a video that shows that they got a lot of attention when they were a baby, too. That's not the answer. The answer is not, "It's okay for us to pay constant attention to this baby because we paid constant attention to you." No. The answer is, you need to split your attention. You need to include your older child. You can't just ignore them because there's a new baby. Yes, babies require a lot of attention. And they require more attention than the older child does. But that doesn't mean you can ignore your older child. It's just stupid. That's why this book is stupid. It's not bad. It doesn't have a bad message. The message is: Babies take a lot of attention. And their solution for that is that Sister Bear just has to get over it. When, no, that's just wrong. Not a good solution. But it doesn't teach the child that they need to get over it; in this case the child just magically gets over it. It's not trying to teach a bad message. It's not harmful, but it's not helpful.

The best part: "Dumpling. Good name for her, thought Sister-- a fat little doughball that was hard to swallow." (Don't eat the baby.)


Babies take a lot of attention.

Publication Year
Age Range
Number of Pages
Number of words on a typical page