Another story from the Brown Bear Barney compendium. The little girl and her brown bear Barney go through a week of activities – playing in the back yard, visiting the dentist, doing the supermarket shopping, going to the library. Each time they get into trouble – muck and mayhem, mostly, and some mischief. Nothing wicked – just ordinary kid mess. But there’s a fair amount of sympathy for the children; although an old lady in the dentist’s waiting room is not very happy about her bag being emptied on the floor, the old man there chuckles. People in the library are grumpy about the noise the children are making, but their special library lady smiles at them.
I especially love the illustrations of a visit to Granny. The little girl waters the garden, and then sprays water all over the windows. The look on her mother’s face is priceless. And Granny is laughing. The book ends with a very satisfying punchline.
One of the things I love about this book is that it is clear that the author, Dorthy Butler, loves children. Although the little girl and her brown bear Barney are get into all sorts of trouble, it is all described affectionately. I suspect that Dorothy Butler had parents in mind when she was writing this book, and without being didactic at all, she was modeling a way of being positive about the small disasters of everyday life with children.