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

(The Berenstain Bears)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  7,496 ratings  ·  264 reviews
Three brave little bears explore the inside of a mysterious old tree and go into, up, through, over, down, and out.
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published September 12th 1978 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published 1978)
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Average rating 4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,496 ratings  ·  264 reviews

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Happy Halloween. I never read this as a child - too bad. This was fun. Very simple. Very Halloween. It is creepy and it still feels safe. This was a huge hit with the kids. They loved it. I'm glad they got introduced to it. Good for age 2 and up. The bears are going through a haunted tree. Shivers ensue.

Sep 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Fear. Illusion. Nightmares. A heady mix of rebellion and self-discovery, a bildungsroman of Lynchian proportions, a journey through the darkness surrounding middle America, wading into the murk of the mind, of life, to the farthest reaches of night. Is there joy in this world? Perhaps. Safety? A more assured thing, if accepted as a temporary measure. Yet evil remains, waiting, reaching. Sleep tight, sleepybears.

Also, this was the first book I fell in love with, mainly because it also came with a
La Coccinelle
Oct 29, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
This is a bit different than most of the Berenstain Bears books I remember. The story is kind of detached, with no dialogue and little character exploration.

In this story, three little bears (Brother, Sister, and some random bear I don't recognize) go off to explore the Spooky Old Tree. Inside, rather surprisingly, is a mansion (well, I guess if their family lives inside a tree, it's possible...) and the little bears explore it, getting progressively more scared until they finally reach the home
Nov 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My son loved this book and so we read it over and over again. We owned a copy which I may still have but not sure.
Oct 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of the Berenstain Bears / Children Who Love Tree-Houses
Three little bears, one with a light, one with a stick, and one with a rope, set out to explore the spooky old tree near their home in this early reader from the Berenstains. Encountering many dangers along the way, they make their way through the interior of the tree, eventually finding their way home again...

Like many American children, I grew up reading about the Berenstain Bears, and I have happy memories of entering their ursine world, so like the human one. I particularly enjoyed looking a
Jun 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: yes
★★★★★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.
Sep 30, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brian Koser
One characteristic of great art is that you can engage with it over and over and continue to glean new meaning. This principle is born out in the acclaimed 20th century classic, "The Spooky Old Tree".

On the first few reads, I thought it was a straightforward tale of children running through a spooky sub-arboreal mansion filled with spiders and alligators, then climbing over a giant nude vagrant bear before sliding down an exit slide and sprinting home.

However, some things didn't add up. Why does
Sep 30, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cheryl Meibos
Oct 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: halloween
One of the first books my sons learned to read by themselves.
May 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, young-readers
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
Apr 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
Shelves: treasures, children
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.
Jun 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
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.
Jennifer Ware
Oct 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
Sep 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone who knows someone little
Shelves: favorites
My favorite book to read to my kids and now my grandson...
Anna (Bananas)
Dec 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is awesome, yes it is.
Oct 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
Just enough words on the page, and just enough "spooky," for the young child. Brilliant in its simplicity.
Feb 04, 2015 rated it liked it
one of the shorter bear books, but I thought it was good.
Ashlee Draper Galyean
I will always love the Berenstain Bears. Always. Does anyone else think it was Papa Bear hiding in the tree to scare them? Otherwise why is Mama Bear so cool with them exploring some creepy old tree?
Laura McLoughlin
This book has once again found its way into our regular rotation. One of my favorites when I was a kid. I just wish I knew what happened to the cassette tape that came with it...
Aug 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kassidi - liked the book but it was very short and too easy....needs more challenging books. Beginning of 2nd grade
Jan 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My Granddaughter loved the book #very spooky for her!

She enjoys reading this story since she was 3 years old. Now she is 10 and still loves the book. It is the first book that she could read by herself.

She is a very smart girl and loves to read and go to the library with me when she visits.

We read a lot of books together.
Paige Singer
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a cute children’s book with catchy rhymes and great parallelism. The bright and intricate illustrations take up the whole page which is one of the reasons why kids love these books!
Shikara Walker
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: week-2
The Berenstain Bears. Classics. This particular story, The Spooky Old Tree, is a favorite for many reasons. Repetition and rhyming is used throughout the book and the illustrations are also vivid and well done. "Three little bears. One with a light. One with a stick. One with a rope."-This mantra of sorts is repeated throughout the story with slight variation as the bears maneuver through the spooky old tree. Text-To-World Connection: a bit of a stretch but at the end of the book the bears are t ...more
Stephanie Shaw
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Excellent book for teaching children how to read the feelings of others and understand why they feel the way they do. The pictures are interesting and give you a chance to talk to your children about what happened.
Cassandra Gelvin
Nov 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Repetitive, overly simplistic pointless robbery book.

What? This isn't even-- there's a plot but no point. It's got very few words and it's very repetitive.

There are three bears. I can't tell if they're supposed to be Brother, Sister, and Honey or different bears. Well, given the 1978 copyright date, it's clearly pre-Honey, so it's just another bear who's wearing Honey's overalls. They go investigate a spooky old tree. It keeps saying, "Do they dare X? Yes, they dare." And they keep going through
Alicia Singleton
This book is about three little bears and their adventure up and through the spooky old tree. They go up twisty old stairs, moving walls, to wake a huge sleeping bear. To get away from the bear they run and go up a ladder, through the floor, down a slide and out of the tree and run all the way back home. The illustrations in this book really make up the story. This story could probably be told without the text, because the illustrations provide so much detail that the text does not provide. For ...more
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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

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