Mama Bear Visits the City

Once upon a time there were four bears living in the woods.

Mama Bear, Daddy Bear, Brother Bear and Sister Bear.

The Bear Family lived happily in the forest.  They read hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of books when Brother and Sister Bear were wee cubs.

Can you recognize any of these books?

Mama Bear gathers pumpkins and ponders her visit to the City.

"Witches Four" (Witch boots on, tied up laces, frog eye soap to wash their faces...)

This is a Golden Book from Mama Bear's childhood. It is an old old book. However, Mama is not that old.


This is another old,old book. It must be from Daddy Bear's childhood.


Oh how the Bear family liked this book--Peter Spier's "Rain". What a wonderful book!

Until one day Brother and Sister Bear grew up, and decided to leave the woods and fly to the Cities.  Brother Bear flew to the West Coast and Sister Bear flew to the East Coast.  (The woods where Mama and Daddy lived was in the middle.)

But Brother and Sister Bear never stopped reading books.  They read dozens and dozens and hundreds and hundreds of books. 

One day Sister Bear invited Mama Bear to fly to New York City to visit her.  (Mama and Daddy Bear had already visited Brother Bear and his fiance a few months earlier.  Actually, Mama had visited Sister Bear two years ago in the Big City, so she’s not completely uncomfortable leaving the forest.)

On Tuesday morning Mama Bear will board an airplane and fly to one of the biggest cities in the US of A!  Will she know how to tip taxi drivers?  Will she know how to behave without looking like a country-bumpkin? 

But, more importantly, will she find a bookstore? 

Moral of the story:  you can take a bear out of the woods, but if they’ve been raised on books, they’ll never stop reading.

Mama Bear wants to know:  what were YOUR favorite childhood books?  Or the favorite books you read your own bear cubs?

Berenstain Bears "Too Much Birthday" (In honor of Daddy Bear who is celebrating his birthday tomorrow. Actually Mama and Daddy are celebrating his birthday today...)

P.S.  Mama Bear will not quit her day job any time soon to write children’s books.  🙂


About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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46 Responses to Mama Bear Visits the City

  1. jeffstroud says:

    How cute!

    I think I was deprived I don’t remember childhood books until my sister came along, I was five than… I don’t recall any favs, of course I made up for it over the years…

    Hey it good to have brother and sister bear in different directions, different places to visit and to explore!

    • Kathy says:

      I know you read a lot now, Jeff! (And I have truly loved having different places to explore…) Hope it works out to visit with you in the City. Mama Bear would be delighted!

  2. Susan Derozier says:

    Woops – I wrote my response on the wrong page. Just wanted to wish Barry a happy birthday (celebrated today).

    • Kathy says:

      Guess it doesn’t matter where you wrote your response, Susan. I am waiting eagerly for your list of favorite childhood books.

  3. P.j. grath says:

    Fun to see Rocky Squirrel there. I just want to say, visit the Strand bookstore in lower Manhattan! It’s a New York City icon!

    • Kathy says:

      You know, Pamela, I’m not 100% sure, but I think the Strand Bookstore IS the place where Kiah shops. (If it is, I’ve already been there.) Will try to remember to let you know.

  4. Susan D says:

    Please pass along Happy Birthday wishes to Daddy Bear! Hope he and Mama Bear had some celebration fun! How fun and whimsical your blog is – makes me want to dig up all the old kids books! Didn’t the pictures turn out great?

    We were/are fans of The Berenstain Bear books, too, and like your Bear family, we read and read and read, and still do! All the nursery rhymes and Golden Books and Richard Scarry books, and and and … so many.
    Books are one of the finest pleasures of life, aren’t they?

    Mama Bear, thinking of you and your fun adventure. You may live in the woods but you are a savvy travelin’ bear and you will know just how much to tip, and just how much to bow 🙂 Thanks for such fun on a beautiful Sunday evening. Happy reading, happy traveling, happy thoughts to you.

    • Kathy says:

      Birthday wishes were passed along~~I am THRILLED that you thought this was fun & whimsical. 🙂 🙂 🙂 I wrote it with so much amusement and then afterward thought, “oh gosh, another funny blog, am I crazy to write these?”

      Guess what, Susan? I dreamed last night I was at Sonya’s house (although it didn’t look anything like her current house.) I was sleeping and lost my glasses there. What do you think this means?

      I will try to be a good Mama Bear and have trust that I know how to operate in the City. Thanks for your good wishes!

      • Susan D says:

        Awwwww, maybe you miss “seeing” Sonya? It’s sweet that you dreamed about her! Have a wonderful day and I hope you can sleep tonight and not be too restless about your early morning trek to R-lander 🙂

  5. Karma says:

    Cute post Kathy! Have fun in the city! I’ve spent a couple weekends and day-trips there; it never fails to amaze.
    Favorite childhood books: just about anything by Dr. Suess
    Favorite books I read to my cubs: I Love You This Much and Goodnight Moon

    • Kathy says:

      Glad you liked this, Karen. It was fun to write. We LOVED Goodnight Moon and Dr. Seuss, too. Goodnight Moon is so torn up I couldn’t really photograph it. A well-loved classic.

  6. Dawn says:

    The one I remember from when I was four or five was Rose Red and Snow White. It wasn’t the Snow White that you all know, but they WERE princesses…I don’t have any idea what the storyline was but I’m sure it involved some handsome prince-like guys showing up on horses. I used to pretend I could read when all along I had it memorized. I read it to my sister who is two years younger than me. I remember doing that while sitting outside on the sidewalk. I think I remember that. Maybe.

    • Kathy says:

      I remember reading a copy of that book to the kids, Dawn. They were both princesses, and didn’t one fall asleep or…? Didn’t it have something to do with a prince in a bear suit? He came disguised as a bear? Just thinkin’… How cool that you read this to your little sister. Maybe your love of books is what lead you to wanting to be a librarian?

  7. Diva Carla says:

    My baby bears grew up in the biggest city in the whole Newnited States, the one you are going to. Our favorite books? Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel! Make Way for Ducklings! The Little House! Loved Loved Loved Richard Scarry, and Frog and Toad, Green Eggs and Ham, and One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. Now I have to call the grown up bears to see which books they remember loving best.

    • Kathy says:

      Good morning, Diva Carla! The whole “Newnited States”…ha ha ha! You guys could be the bestest tour guides in the world! (We’re actually not doing the Tourist thing too much this trip. We’re exploring lesser-known places. Love your selection of books. Yep, remember so many of them. Except not really Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel. Hmmm, maybe Barry read that? Will have to ask. Hope you enjoyed your talk with your grown up bears.

  8. Elisa's Spot says:

    Harry the Dirty Dog…Something about the littlest ghost, and Princess Lullaby oh and there was one about a steam engine construction equipment, very old author maybe Peer?

  9. john says:

    Little Golden Books!!!! I got one every week when I was little. What a wonderful memory you resurrected.

  10. holessence says:

    “Time at the Top”
    “Black and Blue Magic”
    “A Wrinkle in Time”

    “Bernstein Bears and the Spooky Old Tree”

    Have a BLAST in the Big Apple!

    • Kathy says:

      Oh, A Wrinkle in Time was the BEST! I loved that book in later years. And I remember That Spooky Old Tree book, too. Trying to remember the name of that book that had apples drawn in it everywhere…Ten Apples up on Top? Will have a blast in the Biggest Apple, promise.

  11. I know what one of my earliest favorites was – “Cinderella”! I must have made my poor dad read it to me every night for a long time (probably until it got “lost”)!!

    • Kathy says:

      That is such a classic book, Holly. How many young girls dream of growing up and leaving our everyday lives to find that magical prince? Sigh… reality usually isn’t like the fairy tale endings, but perhaps dreaming of an ideal happy-ever-after is.

  12. Nicole Smith says:

    Oh, it is always so difficult to choose favourite books. I used to take out as many as I could from the library every week to read to my children and of course we had so many at home – there are the books I loved from my childhood and many many others I came to love that were written since and that my children enjoyed.

    • Kathy says:

      (Secret, Nicole. I couldn’t really pick favorite books either. I just grabbed the most interesting in Kiah’s closet and shared some of those–because I remember the kids liked ’em.) Isn’t a public library a marvelous thing? We are so lucky to have access to free books, aren’t we?

  13. Robin says:

    Rocky the Flying Squirrel! Yay! I’m still a big fan of Moose & Squirrel. 😀 Wonderful post. It was fun taking a trip back to my childhood and that of my children.

    Picking a favorite book is always so difficult for me. There are so many wonderful childrens books. “Where The Wild Things Are” was my youngest son’s favorite. My oldest son liked “Green Eggs and Ham.” I loved fairy tales, mythology, folk tales, and things like that when I was a child. Still do, in fact. One of my favorite tales of late (which is for older children and adults who still enjoy that sort of thing) is Neil Gaiman’s “Graveyard Book.” I highly recommend it.

    Have fun in the big city, Mama Bear!

    • Kathy says:

      Smiling, glad to provide you with a trip back to childhood, Robin. Remembering the first two books you mentioned, and remembering how we all liked them, too. Have never heard of the Graveyard Book. Maybe I will search for it in the bookstore in NYC and see what it looks like. Thank you!

  14. Donna says:

    My boys loved anything by Mercer Mayer – but especially Herbert the Timid Dragon and There’s a Nightmare in my Closet. Then there were (authors not remembered @ this moment) Lucretia the Unbearable, David and Dog, the Little Train that could, Half wild/half child, Joel the Two headed Troll, Pig Will/Pig Won’t, Badgers Parting Gift, Noisy Nora, Supertwerp… all read and re-read until tattered and threadbare; all still in my bookcase @ home! I was recently moved to tears when my youngest (27) asked if he could borrow them to take to his apartment and read to his fiancee!
    SO many good memories!

    • Kathy says:

      You have quite a list here, Donna! Thanks for some more good book memories. I can still remember the chug-chugging of that Little Train that Could. And Pig Will/Pig Won’t. That was so cool that your youngest wanted to read them to his fiance. How sweet.

  15. bearyweather says:

    It is really sad, but I do not remember any favorite children’s book. I know there was one, but I can’t remember what it was. The only one I can remember was my little brother’s favorite “The Cry Baby Calf” … I think he enjoyed that one because of how my dad read it to him (my dad’s version was quite funny).

    However, I do have a bear you forgot about (of course I would, right?) …. Winnie the Pooh.
    I enjoy Winnie the Pooh stories much more now as an adult then I did when I was a child.

    • Kathy says:

      I’ve never heard of the book “The Cry Baby Calf”, bearyweather. Wondering if you read many books as a child, or if you’ve just forgotten what you’ve read. Smiling, thinking of Winnie the Poor. Ohhh, Pooh Bear!

      • bearyweather says:

        There were a lot of books … it is just my poor memory. And, I don’t think I ever had a favorite one .. still don’t. I like many books. I usually like the one I am currently reading .. whatever that is.

  16. barb says:

    I loved Walter Farley’s Black Stallion books as a child. I have several of my own kids’ childhood books that I now read to my Grandchildren. Clifford books are popular, too. Have fun in the big city, Kathy. Don’t get lost unless it’s on purpose. Happy B-day to Barry Bear!

    • Kathy says:

      Oh, Barb, Christopher loved the Black Stallion books! (Kiah might have, too.) We have at least one Clifford book around. I can’t even imagine the pleasure of reading to grandchildren. (Haven’t been lost yet. I have good guides!)

  17. Tracy says:

    I homeschooled my boys, the oldest till 9th grade. The second oldest will join him in public High School next September. I have one left at home. I’m going to tear up just thinking about it. When they were “wee little cubs” I used a liturature based curriculum called “Five in a Row”. One of my favorites books was “Fedinand”, the story of a bull who would rather smell the flowers than fight! Isn’t that my youngest!! He has such a tender heart. I’ll relish having him to myself next year. I miss reading those bookks to them. Other favorites were “The Rag Coat” and “Paddle to the Sea”.

    • Kathy says:

      I know what you mean about tearing up thinking about precious days with the cubs, Tracy. I remember Ferdinand. I can almost picture the book with that bull on it. Didn’t he have a red coat? I also loved Paddle to the Sea very much. We have Barry’s copy from childhood. What a fun year you will have next year. I know you will cherish that special time with your tender-hearted beb.

  18. Elle says:

    Oooohh City Mouse and Country Mouse. That was in a large book of stories my mom read to me. I loved that story. I also liked Where The Wild Things Are. And the Pooh books. Tigger!! I loved Tigger. Those and the bible stories are all I can remember now though. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Kathy says:

      Elle, thanks for adding your set of favorite childhood book memories. Isn’t this fun? I liked Where the Wild Things Are so much. Tried to watch the movie a couple of years ago and couldn’t even do it, though. It’s good when our Imaginations take us to many magical places.

  19. Brenda Hardie says:

    Kathy this is so sweet! I love how you made this like a children’s story..what a treasure for your kids. Hmm…let’s see…I don’t remember any books from my childhood, although I was reading all the time. I do remember my sons favorite books when they were little…”The Foot Book”, “The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes”, “Little Blue and Little Yellow” and “Mike’s Steam Shovel”. I know there were more but this is what I remember off the top of my head. Now neither boy (ages 23 and 11) enjoys reading 😦 much to my dismay. I can still escape in a book, and I do that often! Thanks for the nudge down memory lane my friend!

    • Kathy says:

      I am glad you liked the children’s story, Brenda. Don’t know where these crazy bloggin’ ideas come from. One minute you’re doing dishes and the next minute you see the words in your head “Mama Bear visits the City” and the next minute you’re seeing the image of Mama Bear from the Berenstein bears and the next minutes you’re on a scavenger hunt to find old books! (Inwardly giggling, the whole time.) I don’t recognize a lot of the books you read to your cubs. I can’t imagine not loving to read. I am glad that you like escaping into reading adventures too!

Thank you for reading. May you be blessed in your life...may you find joy in the simple things...

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