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Children's LiteratureFull of simple sentences and manageable for a beginning reader, this title joins the hundreds of Berenstain Bears books already available for children. If children already have favorites from the series and are familiar with the Berenstain family, that background knowledge will draw them to this story. Sister, Mama, Brother, and Papa are all there. Although the text has familiar characters, it does contain a few surprises. In particular, those surprises—such as which puppy they pick or what happens when Mama plans a trip back to the farm—allow students to practice a more advanced type of prediction (what they think will happen next and adjusting their prediction). This title can actually be used in a class-read-aloud, or big-book-shared-reading experience to facilitate that skill. As with many of the Berenstain Bear titles, this one can also be used to teach character education (responsibility) or themes about visiting the farm and caring for pets. 2005, HarperCollins, Ages 5 to 6.
—Cathy Puett Miller