cover image The Berenstain Bears and the New Girl in Town

The Berenstain Bears and the New Girl in Town

Stan Berenstain, Jan Berenstain. Random House Books for Young Readers, $3.99 (112pp) ISBN 978-0-679-83613-1

This perky tale, one of four inaugural Berenstain Bears Big Chapter Books, enables youngsters who have progressed past the original Berenstain Bears books to continue to enjoy the capers of this popular family. In the double-pronged plot, Brother Bear has his first major crush on a girl , and the flames of a long-smothered feud between two clans in Bear Country are rekindled. Writing in their characteristically sprightly style, infusing equal doses of cuteness and cleverness, the Berenstains neatly join the two story lines as a carefully chosen class play (by that famous playwright, William Shakesbeare) brings Brother and his honey together on stage as star-crossed lovers from sparring families. The leading cubs sail through their kissing scene, and the fate of the Capulets and the Montagues teaches the sparring Grizzlys and Bears the folly of their fight. All is well that ends well, if predictably--and the book's last page offers readers a chance to win a computer in a promotional sweepstakes. Illustrated in black-and-white. Ages 7-11. (June)