Children's Book of the Week: Too Much Birthday

The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Birthday by Stan and Jan Berenstain

This is a very, very serious book in Kid Land. Henry and Eli both have gone through periods of being obsessed with this one. Let’s face it, all Berenstain Bears books are essentially just Self Help books for preschoolers, and this one more than any of the others has deeply resonated with my kids.

In it, Sister Bear has a birthday and the whole Bear family goes a little nuts planning the birthday party to end all birthday parties, and in the middle of the candle-blowing-out, Sister has a major meltdown and is reduced to tears while her friends and family look on in horror. There are no laughs when this book is read. It prompts many earnest questions about why she breaks down, what exactly happened there, and how she might have prevented it. And I have all kinds of answers, because this same sort of overwhelming-activity-leads-to-sobbing has certainly happened in this family many, many times (and not just mom! kids too! ha). And, like I’ve found with the other Berenstain Bears books, a message conveyed through a book holds a lot more meaning than it would if I were just screeching, “This is too much! Too much! That’s why you’re being so tired and whiny!”

I present it here because “Too Much Birthday” could also very easily be “Too Much Holiday” and so now is as good a time as any to read it.

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