My rating: ★★☆☆☆
This is nowhere near as infuriating as some of the other installments in the series, but the Berenstains still found a way to ruin it.
The primary lesson is that there’s no reason to keep male and female children separated, and the only people who would attempt to do so are prudes way too preoccupied with the thought of minors having sexual stirrings. So good for you, Berenstains–finally some healthy, progressive lessons! And a book where it’s not the children who are ostensibly “wrong”? Ye gods, I may have a heart attack.
…and then they shove in a completely random and unnecessary anti-elopement message, and I’m left staring at the page in disgust. Apparently elopements are some kind of moral transgression because the idea of a wedding without a horde of family members there to “approve” offends them. Know what offends me? The constant insistence that people have to forgive their family members for everything, regardless of how horrible the transgression was, just because they’re related. The idiotic idea that a person is expected to put their life on hold to try to appease entitled, selfish creeps just because they’re close family. There is no logic to this shit. And don’t get me wrong–I’m not a proponent of elopement… but only because I don’t like the idea of marriage period. It’s this idea that people supposedly owe something beyond common courtesy to their parents and other family members that sickens me.
Why, oh why, did you have to include this nonsense in what could have been a proper anti-gender-segregation story, Berenstains?