Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Summary: When Reuben the bear announces he’s gotten donuts for his scout troop, the rest of the animals can’t help noticing that he’s a bit damp in the crotch area. He reacts with anger, accusing different friends of wetting his pants. The others respond calmly, telling Reuben it was probably just an accident, and that they’ve done the same thing themselves. As the bear recounts his day (chugging lemonade, hiking near a waterfall, napping with his paw in his aquarium), it becomes obvious to all what really happened. Finally, Reuben blames his pants (“They sprung a leak”) and sheds them in his tent. He never admits to his deed, but tells the others he’d forgive them if they did wet his pants. There are a few suppressed giggles, but it’s clear everyone likes Rufus, and they enjoy their donuts around the campfire. 40 pages; ages 4-8.
Pros: This book will undoubtedly be received amidst hilarious laughter, beginning with the cover and title. It’s pretty silly all right, but there’s a nice lesson to be learned from the way Reuben’s friends treat him; the sentence on the back cover, “Compassion is no accident” says it all.
Cons: It may take a little reining in to get kids to see beyond the bathroom humor to the message of compassion.
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