The Berenstain Bears and the Haunted House
The Berenstains’ latest release is a lift-the-flap book designed for young children, ages two to six. This whimsical paperback with colorful illustrations takes the young child on a journey into the unknown. Each page offers a flap or “door” for children to explore another scene.
Brother and Sister Bear's kitty, Gracie, is lost and the two decide to search for her inside the haunted house on Spook Hill. Peering behind the shutters, they go inside, search upstairs behind a full-length mirror, into cupboards, behind curtains, and in the dumbwaiter, but are unable to find Gracie.
Next, they enter a huge room, glance inside a suit of armor, wander into the library, and finally enter a room where they find Gracie sitting on the lap of the homeowner, Missus Grizzus. Missus Grizzus welcomes the Bear siblings into her home and offers them pie, which they decline.
As they depart with their precious Gracie, the two children agree that their precognitions of the old house as being haunted proved wrong. Once their love for their kitty supersedes their fear as they search for her, they also learn that the owner of the house, whom they believed was frightening as well, is, in fact, a warm and friendly older woman.
Some readers may consider that this tale might imply to young children that it is okay go into unknown or frightening places. However, this reviewer feels this charming story can offer parents and teachers a chance to educate children about certain unfamiliar dangers, as well as offer them confidence about the world in which they live.