Character Assassination Carousel: Bears on Wheels

It’s assassination time…


Allow me to explain… the lovely and very funny Nicole Leigh Shaw, Tyop Aretist (formerly Ninja Mom, though she will always be a ninja in my heart) hosts a series of hired hitpeople to go out and destroy the kiddie lit that is the thorn in the butts of parents. I get to join that very prestigious group today.

Previously Meredith of From Meredith to Mommy, took a careful look at our nation’s political system using the book Duck for President.

Bears_on_wheelsI will be taking a bit of a different route and destroying the book Bears on Wheels by Stan and Jan Berenstein.  FYI-Bears on Wheels has nothing to do with Meals on Wheels.  That is something completely different.  Also, if you type “bears on wheels” into Google Image Search, you will see things that you cannot ever unsee.  I don’t recommend it.

I wanted to clarify that I’ve only waited this long to participate due to the fact that my Mom IS A LIBRARIAN.  Therefore I can find something valuable in most children’s books. However, after I had to read this book 3,292 1/3 times while I was subbing in a preschool classroom, I can honestly say it is not one of my favorite Berenstein works.  In order to be fair, it does teach counting.  But I’m not so sure any child needs to learn counting like this…

So without totally spoiling it for anyone who actually might WANT to read this book, I’ll give a vague summary:

It starts out rather simple.  One little bear who eerily resembles sister bear finds a unicycle standing up all by itself and rides it.  One bear=one wheel.  Easy enough.

bears-wheels-1Seems innocent enough, but then it all goes downhill from here.  Pun intended.

(Speaking of the Berenstein Bears, is anyone else besides me disturbed by the fact that Brother and Sister Bear have no names while other bears in the books do????  No?  Just me?)

Then this  poor girl is viciously attacked by rogue hitchhiking bears.  Three bears=one wheel.  I know that whenever I see someone riding a unicycle, that is what I do too-run after them and jump on their shoulders!

6885101839_2bc4947fce_zMight I point out that if that were me on the bottom, I would have totally fallen over.  But I don’t ride unicycles.  Be very, very thankful for that.


6885109083_1bf35ccaa2_zWe also have singing and guitar playing bears riding a tricycle with their eyes closed.  Isn’t this just as bad as texting while driving?  No, I do believe that is worse!  Not to mention the one in back is LITTERING! Here is where we have three bears=three wheels.

Still with me?  Get it?  Are you keeping up on the whole bear to wheel ratio thing?  Would you like me to write a formula to go with it? Evil Genius is asleep or I would ask him for one.

Let’s skip ahead a bit because it just keeps getting worse…

6885118847_a88c79785f_zHere we have a very tired looking bear supporting not one, not two, but nine other bears.  Ten bears=one wheel.  I think the laws of physics are seriously being violated here.

This book is certainly encouraging dangerous behavior. Where are all the disclaimers?  Every time I see an advertisement showing anything that seems remotely dangerous it shows some fine print at the bottom of the screen stating not to do it.  This book is screaming out for fine print:  These stunts were performed by professional cartoon bears on a closed course.  Do not attempt, unless of course you are a cartoon bear.

After every law of physics has been violated, chaos happens…

bears-wheels-2I really hope that these bears have good insurance coverage!

This was also the favorite part of the children in the preschool class.  Much like some NASCAR fans, they read the book just for the crashes.  They also loved the ninjas.  Yes there are ninja bears in this book too.

One bike is still going strong though:

gal_et-600x400Oops… wrong book.

I seriously have nothing against this book, but preschoolers seem to think it’s the most wonderful book on the face of this earth and want it read every day ALL DAY LONG.  Prior to taking down this book I read reviews on it online and people were raving about it because it teaches counting.  It can also be used for fractions, and supposedly you can have kids make up their own word problems to go with it (which sounds like SO MUCH FUN!).  I can think of about fifteen other books that are way more fun to read that are much better at teaching counting.  I can’t see how wonderful this book is, then maybe there’s just something wrong with me.  Oh yes, now I remember, there IS something wrong with me…

Oh, what happened to the bears?  Don’t worry, they’re just fine.  Though I wonder how many of them sue each other after that huge accident???

I hope you enjoyed my destruction of this book.  Coming soon to an assassination near you is my very funny friend Lisa Newlin!

The "Lucky Ninja" has completed her assassination.

The “Lucky Ninja” has completed her assassination.

58 thoughts on “Character Assassination Carousel: Bears on Wheels

  1. BWAHAHAHAHAHA…I can’t…this is just too funny. When I read books to my son, I always pick it apart in my head…but this is just awesome! OMG…your daughter is too cute and funny.

    • I’m just glad it’s not a book that my own kids wanted to read. They were more content to listen to Chicka Chicka 1-2-3 when it came to counting-that was just fine with me!

  2. And this is why I never bought this book for my kids, because I think my patience level of wanting to read this one over and over just would not allow it. And no words for that last picture, lol!! 🙂

  3. HA! -whenever I see someone riding a unicycle, that is what I do too-run after them and jump on their shoulders
    OMG-subbing in a preschool classroom (you brave, brave lady)

    Librarians and teachers- I agree that I felt guilt over making fun of a book but there are some truly hideous ones out there that deserve it. There was an awful illustration in a guided reading book I used with kids a while ago and I still laugh about it. Still. Those authors are adults, they can take a beating. Especially if they write with incorrect laws of physics in mind.

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  5. I LOVED the post and what an amazing idea, Nicole! I hear you, Sarah, about your fear of book blasphemy! Before I found out about Nicole’s hilariously great idea, I thought about dedicating a post to books of my son that I dread being asked to read yet again, but then backed off for the same reason. Reading yours and Jean’s post makes me want to give this a shot. This was hilarious! I’ve never heard of the series but I don’t like anything about it. Including the fact it teaches math 😛

    • That would be a great post Katia-I would certainly read it! That would be also be a great link up-a whole bunch of us moms tell which books drive us batty and why. My daughter has this one that I could not stand-a board book called Curious Kitten or something like that. I finally had to hide it!

      Keep that in mind-if you ever want to do a link up of sorts of hated children’s books I would so go in with you! 😉

  6. Oh how I love the Carousel… you had a proud ride, my friend! You are so right about that book- pretty much no redeeming qualities. I think its sole value lies in your hilarious interpretation today- so I guess a purpose has been served!

  7. As a former teacher myself, I have to admit that in my head, sarcastic comments would punctuate just about every page of so many books! It’s really funny to hear someone say them out loud! Love it!

  8. I never liked the Bernstein Bears, not the books or the cartoons. For some reason, they gave me headaches. 🙂 But your rendering was a fun read, Sarah! 🙂

  9. Is that a swim diaper on that girl’s head?? Or a pull up? We never used pull ups so I don’t know. We never had that Berenstein book, but we read a lot of Inside Outside Upside Down or something like that. Very painful.

  10. hehe, great post. I loved that book as a kid, but as an adult any book you have to read over and over and over gets a bit unbearable (no pun intended)

  11. Fricking hilarious! I NEVER thought about how Brother and Sister Bear don’t have names, but now I wonder how I didn’t notice that before.

    And you’re right about the book promoting dangerous behavior, like not wearing a helmet, or littering, or going outside in general. Or how about the fact that RANDOM BEARS are jumping on the unicycle. Um, hello? Stranger Danger? BEAR DANGER?!

    I also love the rogue hitchiking bears reference, the disclaimer and the insurance policy. You truly are a woman after my own heart.


  12. I can’t believe this book is even allowed to be purchased/check out of the library due to the possible injuries that can occur. Some parent somewhere is calculating how much they can make suing the authors/publishers due to their child trying these at home, and not on a closed course! Loved the assassination 🙂

  13. This was great Sarah. Loved how you broke down each picture but that one at the end – is that a Pull Up??? Too funny!!

  14. So you have your own assassin at home, huh? I about spit out my coffee when I got to the E.T. picture! I love how you found the silver lining! Really funny, Sarah! Way to go!

    • I’m glad you liked it. I wanted to put the picture of the lady in the tornado from “The Wizard of Oz” but couldn’t find one the right size! So I went with ET, the next logical choice of course!

  15. My son used to love Berenstain Bears and it bothered me VERY much that Brother and Sister don’t have names, neither do Mama and Papa! Even the Dr calls Mama – Mama. What’s up with that! ALSO I can’t believe you think you’re not funny any more! You are highsterical!

  16. I saw this book in an entirely new way tonight! 🙂 I have a love/hat relationship with Dr Seuss. I know…not a popular perspective for a mother and teacher but…
    Reading some of those books was pure torture!!

  17. FUNNY!!!!! I got stuck with the Bear book about looking for the dinosaur bone that the dog buried in the backyard. That and Going On A Bear Hunt were the books that we read over and over and over. Meanwhile, I would honestly recommend anything by Sandra Boynton. I can still recite Hippos Go Berserk from memory!

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