My rating: ★★★☆☆
When I’m surprised by a Berenstain Bears book, it’s rarely ever pleasant. This installment, luckily, was a refreshing divergence from the typical expectations of its series.
Rather than Mama Bear trying to get her kids to stop enjoying themselves and calmly “appreciate” things instead (as was the warped moral of the last BB book I read), here we have one of the stifling, old-fashioned parents learning to loosen up and enjoy life.
In The Berenstain Bears Get Their Kicks, Papa Bear is astounded by and disapproving of his children’s decision to play soccer. The first half of the book focuses on his antics as he tries to persuade his children that the sport they and their mother so enjoy is ridiculous and pales in comparison to his “old-fashioned” sports like baseball. They aren’t buying it, of course, and a sulking Papa Bear follows them to their team tryouts.
He’s impressed by his children’s obvious talent at the sport, which he even grows to enjoy himself. By the last page, he’s learned that there’s certainly enough room in his life for soccer and the “old-fashioned” sports the family also enjoys.
Frankly, it was wonderfully refreshing and incredibly astounding for one of the self-righteous Berenstain parents to learns lesson for a change. (And I found if oddly amusing that the Berenstains actually wrote a book speaking out against the odd anti-soccer vendetta some Americans seem to harbor.)