The Berenstain Bears Get the Don't Haftas by Stan and Jan Berenstain

The Berenstain Bears Get the Don't HaftasThe Berenstain Bears Get the Don't Haftas by Stan Berenstain and Jan Berenstain

My rating: ★★★☆☆

In The Berenstain Bears Get the Don't Haftas, the title is surprisingly apt. Mama Bear spends the entire book pestering Sister Bear to go to the bathroom before they leave for their car trip--and we all know how that's going to end, right? Sister Bear's going to have to pee, her parents are going to be annoyed, and the book is going to imply that this one incident has taught Sister Bear her lesson. Because teaching children to piss while they have the chance is as easy as turning the car around once. Yeah.

So it was refreshing to see Stan and Jan take a different route for once; it's not Sister Bear who suddenly realizes she has to pee--it's the whole family. The Bears all thought they "didn't hafta", which I admittedly didn't see coming. Normally these parents are so sanctimonious and superior, I'm always thrilled to see them shown as just as flawed as their children.

That--showing parents as people rather than saints sneering down their noses at their children--is the key factor in writing a moral picture book.

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