My rating: ★★★★☆
The Berenstain Bears’ Trouble with Pets opens with the Bear family releasing a bird in their front yard. The bird, Tweetie, had been nursed back to health by the family after they discovered his/her broken leg a week before.
Tweetie wasn’t a pet, but s/he does get the Bear family thinking about pets! Before they know it, they’ve added an adorable puppy named Little Lady to the family. But she’s a bundle of trouble in addition to all the cute, and she doesn’t stay a Little Lady for long. The Bear family has to adapt to caring for a dog; and most of all, Brother and Sister Bear have to learn about taking responsibility for their new dependent.
The Berenstain Bears’ Trouble with Pets is a great story for any child whose family expects to adopt a pet. The Bear family sets a good example in their care for Lady. Though they get her for free from a farm, they don’t hesitate to get her licensed and vaccinated. (Spaying isn’t mentioned, first and foremost because the target audience wouldn’t be able to comprehend the concept without a basic knowledge of what it prevents. And goodness knows the Berenstains aren’t getting into that conversation.) And the cubs quickly learn, with the help of a schedule, to take care of Lady’s needs–the fun (playing with her) as well as the not-so-fun (cleaning up her messes).
For once, this is a Berenstain Bears story I can honestly say I recommend to children.