The Trouble with Ben


A bear tries to be just like the children around him, but the results are disastrous and hilarious until he realizes that he must be true to himself.

Ben's efforts to fit in with the other children bring him only trouble until he is able to accept himself for the bear that he really is.

Read More Show Less
... See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (21) from $1.99   
  • New (6) from $8.70   
  • Used (15) from $1.99   
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.
Sending request ...


A bear tries to be just like the children around him, but the results are disastrous and hilarious until he realizes that he must be true to himself.

Ben's efforts to fit in with the other children bring him only trouble until he is able to accept himself for the bear that he really is.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Ben, a burly, brown bear clad in kids' clothes, is not at all like the boys and girls at school. He bounds across the playground on all fours and balances fish on his nose. Ben's classmates think he's weird, and his teacher constantly scolds him and sends him to the principal's office. The bumbling bruin does his best to imitate the other youngsters, but ``when he tried to be like them, it didn't feel right.'' When Ben suddenly decides to shed his clothing and start acting like a bear (even though he still attends school), he is happy at last. Polisar's message that it's okay to be different has been communicated more gracefully and effectively in numerous other books. Also, children may well sense the flawed logic here--``be yourself'' is an admirable axiom, but a bear can never be a child. Though marred by a repetitive text and awkward writing (``He hated running in clothes and felt funny in them''), the volume is pepped up by Clark's droll cartoons. Ages 5-10. (May)
Children's Literature - Mary Sue Preissner
Ben is always in trouble for something or other because he is different. Unfortunately for him, everyone is so preoccupied with having him fit in, that none of them notice that he is not a child but a bear. Ben truly does try to fit in but with disastrous and hilarious results. Happily one of his teachers finally notices he is different and accepts him as he is. And Ben also finally realizes he must be true to himself, and that being different is OK. In this text, no mention is ever made that Ben is a bear; it is patently obvious from the illustrations however. It is also curious that while other characters in the book have dialog, Ben only makes sounds-no words. He does have thoughts though. This would be a good read aloud; the large illustrations are highly visible in this pleasant 'feel good about me' book.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-- Ben just doesn't fit in with his class; that should come as no surprise, as he's a brown bear in a class of white children. Adults all implore him to behave like everyone else. Looking in the mirror, Ben realizes he is different and there is nothing wrong with that. Children will enjoy the caricatures of the bespectacled teacher, Freud-like counselor, and oddly shaped children; they are the strong point of this work. The obvious message, however, that it's okay to be oneself, is lost; it is never clearly expressed that it's not okay to misbehave in class or sleep through the school day. The moral is further confused by the lack of transition between Ben's failure to conform and his sudden coming to terms with his individuality. Mired in problems, this well-intended tale lacks a satisfying, realistic, or enjoyable ending. --Elizabeth Hanson, Chicago Public Library
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780938663133
  • Publisher: Rainbow Morning Music Alternatives
  • Publication date: 5/1/1992
  • Series: Rainbow Morning Music Picture Books Series
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 34
  • Age range: 5 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Barry Louis Polisar is a children’s recording artist. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)