The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree
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The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree (The Berenstain Bears)

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  4,357 ratings  ·  144 reviews
Illus. in full color. Three brave little bears explore the inside of a mysterious old tree and go into, up, through, over, down, and out.

From the Hardcover edition.
ebook, 48 pages
Published February 9th 2011 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published 1978)
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I must have read "The Spooky Old Tree" to my kids a million times. My daughter and son are 12 years apart in age and I still remembered at least half the words to this book when my son was a toddler. I think I have it completely memorized. It's short enough to read out loud without losing your voice and it's fun to do it in a creepy, scary voice. This was my all-time favorite bedtime book.
★★★★★The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree by Stan and Jan Berenstain
Love it! My daughter and I love spooky old Halloween looking trees. So what are the cubs gonna do when they find it, go exploring what else. Armed with all the goods, a rope, a light and a stick, they set off. What do they find, the Great Sleeping Bear. This has got to be our favorite Bears book.
More often than not, children's books present topics which are relatively gentle. Stan and Jan Berenstain, however, have never shied away from presenting problems in a way that the youngest readers can understand. While most of their books revolve around things like new babies and messy rooms, this husband and wife team also show kids the fun and danger of adventure. In this book, the three bear siblings set off to explore a spooky old tree armed with a stick, a light, and a rope. Inside, they f...more
I fondly remember The Berenstain Bears books from when I was a child, and The Spooky Old Tree was always my favorite. It's a story about three brave little bears, one with a light one with a stick and one with a rope. They find an old spooky tree that they decide to venture into, and up to the den of a big sleeping bear. Although they all end up with the shivers they make it home safely to their mother bear. I adore this book, especially the illustration. I love how the paintings are not just a...more
This is one of the earlier Berenstain Bear books, and it shows. The bears are less stylized and cutesy than the bears in the newer books, and the story is halfway between an early reader and the newer, longer read-alouds they do now.

It's a cute little story about three cubs going out with a light, a stick, and a rope to explore. Of course, they lose all three items and run screaming home to mom - and with good reason, that spooky old tree is *really* spooky.

There are only a few words per page, w...more
Kids tend to enjoy suspense as much as adults. This ranks among the best early childhood titles for developing imaginations. Contrasting with so many other Berenstain stories, there isn't an explicit lesson to convey (unless you count teaching children never to explore wilderness in the dark lest they encounter implausible dangers). In fact, here's an article about how good horror can be for audiences of all ages:

The benefits of this more open-ended tale...more
One of my children's favorites this book is boxed away for their children someday. How many of us as children looked at an old tree in the dark shadows and imagined it was full of scary things. The Bernsteins address being scared of things we don't need to be scared of. Great story.
Aug 07, 2007 Kim rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Shelves: children, treasures
I always picked this book for my mom to read to me when I was 3 years old. I knew it so well that I would say the whole thing for her instead:o) I still enjoy reading it to my nieces and love the Berenstain Bears.
Jennifer Ware
This is probobly the best Berenstain book out there! My kids loved this book. It has been to the "book doctor" so many times that is barely recognizable. It is on my list for my granddaughter, now.
Jun 01, 2012 Joyce rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone who knows someone little
Shelves: favorites
My favorite book to read to my kids and now my grandson...
Authors: Stan and Jan Berenstain
Illustrators: Stan and Jan Berenstain
Published: 1978
Genre: Animal Stories; Scary; Comedy

In this story, three little bears set out to explore a spooky old tree. In the beginning, each bear has one tool: a light, a stick, and a rope. Throughout their adventure, the book repeatedly asks the reader, “do they dare” take the next step in their adventure? Every time, the answer is, “Yes. They dare.” As they explore the tree, one by one the bears drop their t...more
This was the first book I read myself, and I was 4. I think it was mostly that I had the entire story memorized because it was a favorite. But I still remember lying there one morning reading to myself and my mom walking in all excited because I was reading.

Spooky old tree was the genesis of my life-long love of the scary story. It was a total departure for Stan and Jan, but this is a revered classic in my family that has touched three generations.
Rachel Pederson
As a youngster, this was the number one book I requested my mom read to me almost every single day. By the end of my obsession with it, I had memorized every single word and even changed my voice to match the spookiness of the forest the bears were traveling through. Being two years old, this was one of the most fun and hilarious thing involved in my day to day routine.

The Berenstain Bears books are all good for teaching lessons to young children and taking them on daily adventures with the bea...more
Alex Sarll
A twisted vision almost worthy of The Twilight Zone - sure, the tree is fairly spooky, but isn't it stranger still that the spooked investigators should be three anthropomorphic bears? Are they the products of a Moreau-esque experiment? We're never told, which makes it all the more unsettling...
{♥} Amanda {♥}
This book is really special to me. My parents used to read it to my brother and me when we were kids. Now that I have a munchkin of my own I read it to him. He's starting to read; yesterday he read this to me for the first time and it was amazing. I truly recommend!
Laura Morrigan
It was a real pleasure to read this again today. This was one of my childhood favourites. I still remember getting it from the Scholastic bookstore, and getting a free glow in the dark ghost sticker with it. I liked this one because it had a great spooky vibe and illustrations. I love all the bits of the tree house such as the moving wall with the giant key. I would love a house like that!

I found this at my boyfriend's parents' house. He remembered reading it as a kid too, and loving that great...more
Ann Marie
Perfect for the early reader - preschool thru first
The bear children go exploring each carrying their own explorer items and enter a 'Spooky Tree' where they make use of their items while learning about up - through - over - around
This book is the perfect blend of adventure and danger. The words are basic enough for my little Geneva to read but every page is enchanting. I'd give it six stars if I could.
Copyright date: Sept 12, 1978
-Teaching students rhyming & directions (in, through, out, etc).
-Used as Halloween literature.
-Berenstain Bears bin.
I love reading the Berenstain Bears books to my children. Each and every one of them sends a positive message.
I read this book with my dad every night as a child. No matter how old I am, this will always be my favorite book.
This little nighttime adventure has long been a favorite of mine. I remember the first time my mother read this to me, imagining myself and my brothers a year older and year younger into the position of the three cub bears.

So many great elements. Mother Bear has a calm and knowing smile on both book ends of the cubs' romp. The Cubs' confidence and equipment at the start. Overcoming one scary obstacle and being met with the next. The shivers setting in with one cub, then two, and finally all thre...more
Michele Farmer
Three young bears armed with a light, a stick, a rope, and eventually, the shivers, explore a spooky old tree and make a daring escape home to their mother. My children loved the haunted house pictures and the fun repetition. It was no time at all before they started to read along and anticipate the response. "Do they dare? Yes. They dare." The illustrations are beautiful and the text is simple and engaging. This was by far our favorite Berenstain Bears book. "The Spooky Old Tree" is a terrific...more
Derek Mahar
Sophia thought they this book was short and sweet, but scary!
Lacy Lovelace
My copy of this book is falling apart! This was one of my favorite books when I was little! I remember bringing it to school one day.
Lisa Overberg
Three little bears decide to go into a spooky old tree; inside the tree, they go up twisty old stairs, through a moving wall, and climb over a big sleeping bear. The big bear wakes up and chases them up a ladder, through the floor, down a slide, and out the door of the tree. The three little bears run home to safety. This picture book portrays the dangers of leaving home and emotions children might feel if they sneak out of their house.

Reading Level: 1.7
Grade Level: K - 2
Lexile: 100L
One of my favorite picture books to read in a Halloween storytime. It isn't technically a Halloween book, but the atmosphere is definitely there. Minimal text sets off the pictures perfectly, with most of the story being told in the pictures. Even older children like answering the questions such as: "Do they dare go into that spooky old tree?" and "Do they dare go up that twisty old stair?" and especially, "Do they dare go over Great Sleeping Bear?"
Wendy Unsworth
This is another one of those children's books that can be handed down from generation to generation and the kids will love it. Dare the bears go into the spooky old tree? Just enough words to keep very young children entertained without them wanting to wriggle away. Also a great opportunity for pantomime dramatics on the part of the person who is reading aloud! Just great, simple fun.
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Stan and Jan Berenstain (often called The Berenstains) were American writers and illustrators best known for creating the children's book series the Berenstain Bears. Their son Mike joined them as a creative team in the late 1980s.
More about Stan Berenstain...
The Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room The Berenstain Bears' Trouble at School Inside, Outside, Upside Down The Berenstain Bears Forget Their Manners The Berenstain Bears and Too Much TV

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