During our whirlwind trip to the library the other day, one of the books Reese ended up with was The Berenstain Bears Learn About Strangers. In light of a few horrific crimes which have occurred just miles from our house, at places we shop, I was glad this book was one of her picks. Children are so innocent (when they're not bold faced lying about not having pulled their sisters' hair) that it's hard to look into their trusting eyes and explain about the horrible monsters who are out there living among society.
After only having the book since Monday, I can already recite half of it by memory, after having read all their library books to them about 6 times a day a piece. Even though I'm sure it's on your Top 10 Summer Reading List, I'll give you a rundown. Basically Sister Bear is very friendly with everyone she meets and is always saying "Hi" to strangers. This concerns Brother Bear very much and he takes her straight to Papa Bear so he can explain to Sister why this isn't a good idea. Wise ol' Mama Bear uses a simple illustration with a basket of apples, explaining there's "always a few bad apples in the bunch". She goes on to point out that we can't always tell the "bad apples" just by looking at them. Some apples look perfectly fine and safe, but when you open them up, they're all wormy inside!
A couple of times in the story it's pointed out that "You should never talk to a stranger, and never ever take presents from a stranger, and never ever ever go anywhere with a stranger." Excellent guidelines.
After a hot sticky, errand filled morning, I couldn't even bring myself to concentrate on what we might have at home to fix for lunch (even though David just went to the grocery store and seemingly stocked us up for a natural disaster).
Wendy's, here we come! We pulled up to the drive thru window and after I paid for the meal, from the way back of the van I hear Reese ask, "Mommy, is that lady a stranger?".
"Yes, she is." I replied absentmindedly. (Well, we don't know the lady, so she is, in fact, a stranger.)
As I neatly arranged all the kid's meal bags and drinks on the front seat, Reese asked accusingly, "MOMMY! Did you just take something from a stranger!"