Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I must break you.

My 5 year old LOVES Kindergarten. Every Wednesday, he is able to check out a library book for the week.  We are both really excited about this because he loves to read and we've virtually exhausted all of the books we own.  Today he came home with this book.

Hmm, a book about bullying.  Are we ready for this subject yet?  Since it was a Berenstain Bears book, I decided to go ahead and read it.  I have to say, I found the contents a little... disturbing.

(as interpreted by PMuff)

OK here we go.  Oh my... look at Sister Bear.  She looks like she’s ready to kill some fools.  We're only on page one and already she's vowing to avenge herself.

When Brother and Sister Bear come home from school, Mama and Papa Bear notice that Sister looks like she just returned from a week-long bender in Las Vegas.  We learn that Sister was beaten up by a bully named "Tuffy".

Upon hearing this, Papa immediately decides he is going to show Tuffy how the Berenstain Bears roll.  Mama (who seems to be the ONLY voice of reason throughout the entire book) reminds Papa that beating up a child is probably not the best idea.  While Mama and Papa have this asinine conversation, Brother sneaks out of the house.  But where did he go?!

He went to beat the s%&t out of Tuffy, that’s where!  Look at Brother Bear.  He looks like a little stalker bear in training.  I’d like to see the Berenstain Bears E! True Hollywood story.  I would bet a lot of money that Brother has been featured on "To Catch a Predator".

Once Brother discovers that Tuffy is actually a girl, he decides that he probably shouldn't beat her up.  Hooray!  But this doesn’t mean Tuffy is out of the woods yet.  Oh no, my friends.  Not. At. All.  Brother decides to disobey his mother's orders to leave Tuffy alone, and sets up a top-secret training area to teach Sister Bear how to destroy her enemy.

As it turns out, Sister is one Bad-Ass Berenstain.

The new and improved Killer Sister managed to steer clear of her nemesis at school over the next few days.  Unfortunately, seeing Tuffy again was unavoidable.  During recess, Killer Sister saw Tuffy throwing rocks at a defenseless bird.  When Killer Sister kindly asked her to stop, Tuffy basically told her to go pound sand.  

And then it happened.  Killer Sister pummeled Tuffy Drago-the-Russian-style ala Rocky 4.  

Killer and Tuffy were both sent to the principal’s office where Tuffy begins to cry.  Then THIS happened.

What the f%^k, Berenstain Bears?  Maybe she gets hit a lot at home?!  All of a sudden, my beloved bears became an after-school special of the month.  The next thing you’re going to tell me is that Sister is anorexic and Brother is a cutter.

In closing, we find out that Sister was let off because she saved a bird’s life.  As for Tuffy, she had to visit the school psychologist twice a week for quite a while.

I don’t even know what to say about that.
I am from Flint, Michigan- the murder capital of America.  I am well aware that there are many “Tuffy” situations out there.  BUT… maybe this isn’t a topic the Berenstain Bears needed to touch upon.  It’s sort of like “Saved by the Bell” covering drug abuse.  Though the episode contained what could be the most hilarious minute of television ever, it just wasn’t necessary.

Ok, the SBTB episode was TOTALLY necessary ( I LOVE YOU JESSIE SPANO!)… but this book?  I don't know.  I think the author's intentions were good; maybe we could have left out the child beating reference.  That’s sort of tough to yada-yada over when reading to a 5 year old.