The Berenstain Bears Count Their Blessings tells how Brother and Sister Bear come to realize that they have plenty of blessings in life, if only they look for them.
The story opens with Brother and Sister visiting friends, and when they return (just in time, as it begins to rain) they eagerly begin talking about the new toys their friends have. This is, apparently, a regular result of such visits, and Mama is fed up with it. “I’ve heard quite enough,” she says, “about what you don’t have.” She encourages them to appreciate the things they do have, instead.
Mama and Papa begin listing some of the blessings the family has, and shortly after this, the storm intensifies, and the Bears lose their electricity. Sister becomes frightened by the lightning, but Papa teaches her how to tell how far away it is, by counting the seconds between the flash of lightning and the sound of thunder.
Actually, though, one complaint here: Papa explains that thunder is caused by air rushing to fill up the space where the lightning burnt up the air. I guess that maybe conservation of mass doesn’t apply in Bear Country, but around here, thunder is caused by the expansion of air, not its absence.
Ultimately, the cubs come to appreciate the things they have, and Mama and Papa plan to buy them some of the toys they had envied for their upcoming birthdays and Christmas.
The story in this one isn’t terrible, but it really isn’t much other than an excuse for the parents to tell their ungrateful children that they should be happy with their lot in life. It’s good to be happy with what nice things you do have, but it seems more like Mama just didn’t want to hear her children talking about their friends’ toys, and took the opportunity of the storm to shut them up. The best part is probably Papa teaching the cubs how to tell how far away lightning is. Although, Sister using the word ‘trousseau’ is pretty impressive, too.
The art’s not bad. The huge bolt of lightning that frightens Sister does look pretty intimidating, and it was fun to see the ‘Game Bear’ games that Brother is talking about.
This book isn’t too bad, but like The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food, I suspect it’s mostly used by parents as a prop to get their kids to stop bugging them about toys they want. I doubt it’s particularly effective, but there you have it. This one is (again!) not available for the Kindle, so if you want a prop, you’ll have to get it on paper.