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The Bike Lesson

(The Berenstain Bears Beginner Books)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  1,229 ratings  ·  77 reviews
Papa teaches Junior to ride a bicycle.
Paperback, 62 pages
Published 1964 by Random House, Inc.
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4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,229 ratings  ·  77 reviews

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Amara Tanith
Nov 24, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, 2012
Have you ever seen the Berenstain Bears like this:

No? Then you haven't seen the Berenstain Bears at their best. This was the era before every book tried to shove a ham-fisted moral down children's throats. This was the time before Papa Bear became a belligerent asshole. This was the era when Brother Bear was called Small Bear because Sister Bear hadn't been born yet.

If only this could have lasted.

Just take a moment to compare these two covers:

The image on the left bears the original character de
David Sarkies
Aug 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
Little Bear gets a new bike
3 August 2013

I must admit that when I was a kid I loved the Berenstain bears and from what I can gather from Goodreads, so did a lot of other people. There has been mentioned that these older books are much better than the newer books, but I personally do not know the difference, maybe because I was not really exposed to the two different books, or maybe I had only ever dined on the classics. This particular book I would have to suggest is a classic.

Papa Bear buys Li
Jan 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
I loved these bears when I was a child ... but for some reason my boys dont like them as much as we did. Still, my boys were mesmorised by the story last night and even when my 12 year oold got called away, when he returned he wanted me to go back to the place before he had left.

This is a simple funny rhyming story of all the things you should not do when riding a bike, as the father goes to show.
I just love Dr Seuss books ... they will always have a special place in my heart. Timeless.
Anna Ryckman
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved reading this series when I was little and this one about Papa teaching Junior to ride a bike is one of my favorites. I absolutely love the rhyming that is incorporated in this book. It makes it really fun to read aloud as it just flows so seamlessly off the lips. This is also an excellent book for young readers because the illustrations allows the reader to infer what is happening in the plot, as the pictures do an awesome job of reinforcing the text. The dad’s so fun and goofy as he tri ...more
Kristine Hansen
Mar 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-easy-reader
For goodness sake, Papa Bear, let the cub ride the bike before you wreck it!

I love the simple stories that have so much interest and engagement while teaching a child to read. The story is funny, and it's not always easy to predict where they're going to wind up next. I did wonder how the bike remained intact when Papa certainly didn't. This one is just lots of fun!
Brianna Brown
Cute story; however, I’m not particularly keen on the fact that the dad ignores all of the havoc he has caused in teaching his son to ride a bike.
Papa Bear is such a goof!
Nov 07, 2012 rated it liked it
As someone who isn't really a fan of The Berenstain Bears, I actually found myself enjoying this book as I was reading it with my two-year-old nephew, because he was enjoying it. Full of cheesy rhyming lines, this book is about the lessons that Papa Bear teaches to Small Bear upon buying, but before giving, him a new bike. The outcomes of the lessons are somewhat comical, which makes reading it almost bearable. (Oh, the bad puns never end.) Find your favorite small human and enjoy this light rea ...more
Mar 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I just read this book for the first time yesterday. I found an old copy in almost perfect condition a few months ago. While reading it to my son, I couldn't stop laughing. Wonderful read!
Apr 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was one of my favorite books as a child. I even took it to read to the class in 8th grade as an assignment to read a children's book.
Papa Bear brings home a bike for Brother Bear, but before Brother Bear can ride the bike, Papa Bear needs to give him some bike lessons. Readers will infer from the pictures that Brother Bear is learning what not to do from Papa Bear's safety lessons. I love that Brother Bear doesn't get angry at his dad or disrespectful toward him. He just learns from his father's mistakes. Very cute. Really silly. The art is an earlier version of the Berenstain Bears published in 1964. The rhyme is consistent ...more
Mark Siegel
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes, parents of young children at bedtime reading time need a dose of absolute, ridiculous hilarity—for many of us, this is the one that does the trick. It invites an over-the-top goofy reading, which in our family never failed to make 3, 4, 5, and 6 year olds laugh their heads off. The fact we get to laugh at a silly dad's highly ineffectual 'lesson' isn't lost on young readers, of course.
Steven Rider
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-books
While this series of starter reading books follow the typical, "buffoon father" formula, it is pretty funny and a good starting book for kids to read. Illustrations are terrific.

My 6 year old enjoys it, and I did too when I was little.
Slow Man
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
Now this is what I call a perfect book for all. The rhyme is perfect. The story is perfect. The drawings are perfect. And most importantly, the humor is perfect. This is what you should not do. So let that be a lesson to you. Wicked.
Willow Redd
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The misadventures of Papa Bear as he teaches Small Bear how NOT to ride a bike.

Yet another book from my childhood revisited as I reorganize my bookshelves.

And yes, it's still Berenstain. It will always be Berenstain.
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
I'm not a fan of the "dad is an idiot" theme.

7/20/17 Read with Naomi & Julia.
Lumi / Otso
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
the 7 year old thought this was hilarious.
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 儿童
Bailey Marissa
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good for beginning readers.
Feb 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
Funny and great drawings! I liked their treehouse also. But this book is also dated-- none of the bike lessons include anything about a helmet. Also, I swear I remembered them as "Berenstein Bears"!
Dec 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's really embarrassed but true, I'm 20 now but I can't ride bike. In my hometown where are all high hills, no one ride bike so do I.
Read a long with eldest son reading from his original book to his own eldest son, my eldest grandson. Thanksgiving weekend 2016. Grateful!
Cassandra Gelvin
Nov 14, 2016 rated it it was ok
Papa Bear fails at riding a bicycle.

Another stupid old Berenstain Bears book where Papa tries to teach Small Bear how to ride a bike and keeps not listening to his own advice and getting maimed and mangled in various ways, and Small Bear just thanks him for showing him what not to do. Small Bear gets really impatient waiting for his dad to finish teaching him how to ride the bike so he can actually ride the bike.

There's no actual lesson. It's not actually teaching things that you would be worrie
Luisa Knight
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-can-read, children
Papa Bear is hilarious and will show you more of what *not* to do, than what you should do. Leave behind your straight face and serious side, this is a goofily fun tale.

Reading Level: 1st - 2nd grades

Cleanliness: portrays the dad as dopey and the mom as the smart one.

**Like my reviews? I also have hundreds of detailed reports that I offer too. These reports give a complete break-down of everything in the book, so you'll know just how clean it is or isn't. I also have Clean Guides (downloadable
Shawn Thrasher
I like this book as a thoughtful period piece (think about the roles of fathers on television in the 1950s and 1960s, and roles of fathers today, particularly the trope of the dumb dad in television commercials; now compare and contrast to these proto-Berenstain bears; discuss among yourselves). I also like this book because the proto-Berenstains were rad and cool. And there is a touch of nostalgia; everyone learned to read on at least one Berenstain Bears book. Modern Berenstain Beariana though ...more
Papa Bear bought a bike for Small Bear to learn to use. In the attempt, Papa Bear tries to show him lessons of how to ride the bike by having himself ride it. Although some lessons messed up and did not go well, Small Bear understood what NOT to do because of his dad’s mistakes. By the end of the book, Small bear was riding Papa Bear back home with injuries from his bike lessons.
This book is a funny and great book to read to a child that is in the process of learning how to ride a bike. Even th
Tracy Poff
The Bike Lesson is another early Berenstain Bears book, this one from 1964. Like The Big Honey Hunt, we see Papa Bear insisting he knows best, and coming out the worse for it.

The story is simple: Papa Bear has gotten a bicycle for Small Bear, but before he'll let Small Bear ride it, he wants to give him some lessons. Of course, it looks like Papa Bear is in need of lessons himself! He tries to cover up his failures ("This is what/you should not do./Now let his be/a lesson to you."), but one wond
Mar 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this story. It was funny and cute. I really really really loved the end where Papa Bear reminds his son to ride on the right hand side of the road -- I think some adults need to read this so they can be safe when riding their bikes!
My daughter read this out loud to us. It was simple enough for her to not get frustrated, but allowed her to practice some words she wasn't completely familiar with. We got this from the library, and I am wondering why we don't have more of these original Berens
May 05, 2015 added it
I read this and other Berenstain books repeatedly as a child. This one was my favorite because I found all the silly predicaments Papa Bear got into hilarious. In adulthood, I still like some things about these books, other things not so much. One of the bigger things I don't care for is that they often seem to make Papa Bear out to be rather foolish, while Mama is usually the wise one. I think that's worth discussing as these books are read w/a child, at least.
Jul 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Yet again another Berenstain Bear book where Papa Bear gives a lesson in what not to do. A great book to share with your kiddos who are learning to ride bikes or are already seasoned riders. Ask the children can explain what is wrong with Papa Bears Bike Safety Rules? Or at least with how he is demonstrating them.
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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.

Other books in the series

The Berenstain Bears Beginner Books (8 books)
  • The Big Honey Hunt
  • The Bears' Picnic
  • The Bears' Vacation
  • The Bears' Christmas
  • The Bears' Almanac
  • The Berenstain Bears: The Bear Detectives
  • The Berenstain Bears and the Missing Dinosaur Bone