When Principal Honeycomb goes on vacation and puts Mr. Grizzmeyer in charge, the students at Bear Country School are nervous. The vice principal is strict and very serious about changing the school’s dress code. When cubs of every social group start wearing super hip clothes as a way of speaking out against the new rules, the campus becomes a fashion battlefield.
About the Author
Starring Papa Bear, Mama Bear, Sister Bear, and Brother Bear, the books quickly became popular for their evocative drawings and simple explanations of wholesome themes. The stories sold more than 200 million copies worldwide and have been adapted as movies, television shows, and amusement park attractions. The Berenstains’ younger son, Mike, has overseen the series since his parents passed away, ensuring that it will continue to be popular with each new generation of young readers.
Stan Berenstain (1923–2005) and Jan Berenstain (1923–2012) were a husband-and-wife cartooning team best known for creating the internationally beloved Berenstain Bears. Both born in Philadelphia, they met on the first day of art school, and were married after World War II. Inspired by their children’s love for Dr. Seuss, the Berenstains created a cartoon version of their own family, and with The Big Honey Hunt (1962) began a series that would stretch to more than two hundred volumes. Starring Papa Bear, Mama Bear, Sister Bear, and Brother Bear, the books quickly became popular for their evocative drawings and simple explanations of wholesome themes. The stories sold more than 200 million copies worldwide and have been adapted as movies, television shows, and amusement park attractions. The Berenstains’ younger son, Mike, has overseen the series since his parents passed away, ensuring that it will continue to be popular with each new generation of young readers.
Read an Excerpt
The Berenstain Bears and the Dress Code
By Stan Berenstain, Jan Berenstain
OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIACopyright © 1994 Berenstain Enterprises, Inc.
All rights reserved.
Spring was the time of year for new things in Bear Country. Not just new leaves and flowers, but new fads and fashions, too. It seemed that every spring the cubs at Bear Country School wore clothes that were a different style from last spring's clothes. Skirts were usually a little shorter or longer. Blue jeans were a little tighter or looser. The teachers and other grownups who worked at Bear Country School never paid much attention to these changing cub fashions.
But one spring, cub fashions didn't change a little. They changed a lot.
It all started with boys wearing their baseball caps backward at recess. Soon jeans got more and more faded, and more and more worn at the knees. Until they wore right through!
"Whoa!" Sister Bear said to Lizzy Bruin one morning. "Aren't those kneeholes kind of big?"
Lizzy and Sister stood with a crowd of cubs at the schoolyard waiting for the morning bell to ring. Around them were all sorts of unusual clothes. Barry Bruin had on a jacket with a picture of The Monster That Ate Big Bear City printed on the back. Babs Bruno was wearing two anklets on each ankle and a ring on each toe. The Too-Tall gang members wore sweatshirts with messages on them. Skuzz's said GET LOST. Smirk's had BUZZ OFF printed on it. And Vinnie's said DROP DEAD. Too-Tall himself wore a long black Batbear cape.
Lizzy looked down at her gaping knee-holes. "Way cool, aren't they?" she said to Sister. "By the way, when are you going to join us 'rads' in the 'kneehole look'?"
The cubs who wore the new fashions called themselves "rads," from the word "radical," meaning extreme or different. Sister didn't feel extreme or different. She just felt like herself. But she did like the "knee-hole look."
"They do look kind of cool," she said. "But I'm not really into rad clothes. Besides, Papa would hit the roof if he saw me in those."
"Drop by my house on the way to school tomorrow and borrow a pair of mine," said Lizzy. "Then change back into your regular clothes on the way home. What Papa doesn't know won't hurt him — or you."
"Thanks, anyway," said Sister, "but I'll stick with my regular outfit for now. Aren't you worried you'll get a warning from Teacher Jane about those kneeholes?"
"So what if I do?" said Lizzy. "I've got jeans with all different-size kneeholes at home. Besides, Teacher Jane says we're allowed to have kneeholes as long as they aren't too big. How will we find out what's 'too big' if we don't experiment?"
"I guess you're right," said Sister. "All I can say is, you're lucky you're not in Miss Glitch's class. She won't even allow jeans that are a little worn in the knees."
Figuring out what their teachers would think of new clothing styles was a problem for the cubs. Some teachers, like Teacher Jane and Teacher Bob, were pretty easygoing about the rad clothes. But others, like Miss Glitch, hated them. The toughest of all was Mr. Grizzmeyer, the vice principal and gym teacher. Usually he left the decisions about clothes up to the classroom teachers. But when Vinnie of the Too-Tall gang came to school one day with a spiky punk hair style, Mr. Grizzmeyer told him that he would be suspended for the rest of the year if he ever tried it again.
"I'm even luckier that we wear uniforms for gym," laughed Lizzy. "Can you imagine what it would be like if Mr. Grizzmeyer were in charge of making the rules about clothes? He might even ban your hair ribbon!"
Sister might have laughed, too, if she'd been listening. But she was deep in thought. "It isn't fair," she said finally with a frown.
"What isn't fair?" asked Lizzy.
"That Teacher Jane's cubs are allowed to wear rad clothes and Miss Glitch's cubs aren't. We're even in the same grade!"
"Life isn't fair," said Lizzy. It didn't bother her a bit that Miss Glitch's cubs weren't allowed to wear rad clothes. Just as long as she got to wear them.
"Well, I think it's pretty darn confusing," said Sister. "Somebody ought to do something about it."
"Don't hold your breath," said Lizzy. "Things will have to get pretty stirred up around here first."
Just then Sister spied Queenie McBear coming down the street. "Funny you should say that," she said.
"Why?" asked Lizzy.
Sister pointed at Queenie. "Here comes somebody who just might do the stirring up."
Queenie had on an outfit that was like nothing the cubs had ever seen at Bear Country School. A bright red body stocking with a very, very, very short miniskirt.CHAPTER 2
The Miniskirt and Miss Glitch
There were whistles from the Too-Tall gang as Queenie came into the schoolyard. All the cubs turned to look. Too-Tall yelled, "Hey, guys, get a load of Miss Miniskirt. Woo-woo!"
The on-again, off-again thing between Queenie and Too-Tall was off again that week. So Queenie walked right past Too-Tall and joined some of her friends from Teacher Bob's class.
"Well, guys, what do you think?" she asked.
No one spoke for a moment. Even though Brother Bear and Cousin Fred didn't really like the rad clothes, they weren't against them, either. But Queenie's outfit left them speechless.
Finally, Babs Bruno said, "Way cool!"
"Awesome!" said Trudy Brunowitz.
Trudy, Ferdy Factual's girlfriend, had been wearing jeans with kneeholes for a few weeks now. She had even started speaking the rads' slang. But Ferdy was still in his nerdy cap, vest, and knickers.
Ferdy gave Trudy a bored look and said, "I'm not sure awe is the true emotion inspired by Queenie's new outfit."
"No?" said Queenie. "Then what is?"
Ferdy didn't answer.
"Well?" said Queenie.
"Don't rush me," said Ferdy. "I'm trying to decide between 'disgust' and 'amusement.'"
"Very funny," said Queenie. "Hey, Trudy, your nerdy boyfriend is a pain in the neck."
"He is getting to be kind of a bore," grumbled Trudy.
"Getting to be?" said Ferdy. "I'm the same bore I've always been! You're the one who has changed!"
"Chill out, Ferd," said Trudy. "We'll discuss it later in private — if you're lucky." She turned to Queenie. "I think it's a really cool outfit, Queenie. But what will Teacher Bob say?"
"Oh, Teacher Bob's a sweetheart," said Queenie. "From the moment I walk into class this morning until the time I walk out this afternoon, Teacher Bob won't say a word."
Queenie might have been right about Teacher Bob. But no one had a chance to find out. Because Queenie never even got to Teacher Bob's class.
After the bell rang, Queenie was stopped in the hall by the teacher on hall duty. Unfortunately for Queenie, the teacher on hall duty that morning was Miss Glitch. The other cubs stood to one side and waited for Miss Glitch to finish with Queenie.
Miss Glitch put her hands on her hips and looked down her nose at Queenie. "And just where do you think you're going?" she asked.
"To class," said Queenie.
Miss Glitch looked Queenie up and down. "Dressed like that?"
"I'm pretty sure it'll be okay with Teacher Bob," said Queenie.
"You may be right," said Miss Glitch. "But it's not okay with me. You show a complete lack of respect for your school, the teachers, and your fellow students when you wear such clothing to school. How can you expect your classmates to learn anything with you dressed like that? Go home and change this very minute!"
Queenie looked surprised. And hurt, too. "But ... but ...," she stammered. "But you're not even my teacher."
"No," said Miss Glitch. "But I am the teacher on hall duty. Therefore, I have the right to handle any problems that arise in the halls this morning. And in my opinion, you are this morning's biggest problem."
Queenie looked at her friends. Her eyes filled with tears. Then she turned and ran down the hall and out the front door.
Miss Glitch looked over at the other cubs. "Well, what are you all staring at?" she snapped. "Hurry up or you'll be late for class!"CHAPTER 3
A Growing Problem
Not long after Miss Glitch sent Queenie home from school, Mr. Honeycomb, the school principal, was sitting at his desk going over the week's schedule one last time. He had come in before the start of the school day that morning because he was planning to leave early — in just a few minutes, in fact.
Mr. Honeycomb was about to drive to Big Bear City for a special principals' meeting at Bear Country University. He was looking forward to it. Even though the meeting would last for three full days, he wasn't worried about Bear Country School being without a principal. Mr. Grizzmeyer would take care of everything.
Mr. Honeycomb closed his schedule book and reached for his suit jacket. Just then the telephone rang.
"Oh, hello, Ms. McBear," said Mr. Honeycomb. "How are you?"
"Very upset," said the voice at the other end. "Just like my daughter."
"What's the trouble?" asked Mr. Honeycomb.
"Don't you think a hall-duty teacher should check with a cub's regular teacher before sending her home from school?"
"Yes, I certainly do," said Mr. Honeycomb. "Why do you ask?"
"You don't know?" said Ms. McBear. "Miss Glitch didn't even check with you before sending Queenie home?"
"Oh, dear," said Mr. Honeycomb. "I'm afraid not. Why was Queenie sent home?"
Ms. McBear described Queenie's new outfit.
"My, that is a new outfit," said Mr. Honeycomb. "Where in the world did she get the idea for that?"
"From an old snapshot of me as a cub wearing exactly the same thing," said Queenie's mother. "Do you really think it's a good idea to send a cub home, without even a warning, for wearing something her mother once wore?"
"Well, ... I ... er ... maybe not," said Mr. Honeycomb. "But I certainly agree that I should have been told about this. I really have to go, Ms. McBear. But I promise I'll look into this matter. Good-bye."
Mr. Honeycomb placed his elbows on the desk and put his head between his hands. Until now, he hadn't been too worried about the rads and their unusual clothes. He felt that if the rads were allowed to wear their clothes, everything would be okay. What had him worried were the teachers and their different sets of rules. And now Miss Glitch had gone way too far — just when he had to go out of town for three days!
Mr. Honeycomb switched on his intercom and asked Mr. Grizzmeyer to come in. A moment later, the vice principal appeared at the door. "What's up, chief?" he asked.
Mr. Honeycomb told Mr. Grizzmeyer what had happened.
"Well, I don't agree with the way Miss Glitch went about it," said Mr. Grizzmeyer, "but at least her heart's in the right place."
The principal sighed. "You know how I feel, Mr. G.," he said. "I don't much care what style clothes the cubs wear to school, as long as their bodies are more or less covered."
"That's the problem!" said Mr. Grizzmeyer. "They should be more covered, not less!"
Mr. Honeycomb already had his jacket on. "I've got to go," he said, grabbing his briefcase. "While I'm away, I don't want anyone sent home unless he or she is wearing something so unusual that it will keep the other students from paying attention in class. If we make a big deal out of these rad clothes, the cubs will just keep trying stranger and stranger ones. Please talk to Miss Glitch for me. And keep an eye on her."
"You bet, Mr. H.," said Mr. Grizzmeyer. "Don't worry about a thing."
Don't worry about a thing? thought Mr. Honeycomb as he hurried through the parking lot to his car. Had he really asked Mr. Grizzmeyer to keep an eye on Miss Glitch? Wasn't that a bit like asking a wolf to keep an eye on the fox that's been prowling around the chicken coop?CHAPTER 4
A Family Discussion
Later that afternoon, discussions were going on in living rooms all over Bear Country. The news about Queenie and Miss Glitch had spread quickly. It had brought the school dress problem out into the open.
The discussion at the Bear family's tree house was typical. Miss Glitch had support, but so did Queenie.
As usual, Papa was the first to give his opinion. "No cub has any business wearing a short, short miniskirt to school," he said firmly. "I say Queenie got what she deserved."
"Without even a warning?" said Sister. "Just for wearing something her mom wore as a cub?"
"If Ms. McBear had worn that to school," said Papa, "she would have been sent home, too!"
"But it isn't fair," said Sister. "Miss Glitch isn't Queenie's teacher. Teacher Bob would have let her into class."
"I'm all in favor of fairness," said Papa. "I don't think any cub should be allowed to wear a miniskirt or torn jeans to school."
Sister rolled her eyes. "Oh, great!" she said. "Maybe we should just all wear uniforms to school!"
"Not a bad idea," said Papa. "I'll bring it up at the next PTA meeting!"
"Now hold on," said Mama. "Let's try to discuss this without getting angry at one another."
"I'm not angry!" growled Papa.
"Me neither!" snarled Sister.
"Of course not," said Mama. "That's why I'm sure you'll agree that it's very confusing to have different rules for different classes. We all want fairness. The question is, how much freedom should there be for cubs to wear whatever they want? I don't have a problem with cubs wearing what they want, unless it's so weird that no one can pay attention in class. And as long as they aren't half-naked."
"Or completely naked," added Papa.
"That goes without saying," said Sister, rolling her eyes again.
"Nowadays I'm not sure there's anything that goes without saying," grumbled Papa. He looked over at Brother. "You haven't said a word, Brother," said Papa. "I hope you're not in favor of all this dress-freedom stuff, too."
Brother shrugged. "Yes and no," he said. "I'm not into rad clothes myself. But it doesn't bother me when other cubs wear them to school."
Papa sighed. "I guess that's the important thing," he said. "I don't mind if you cubs are in favor of dress freedom. Just so you don't do it."
That was no problem for Brother. He had never even thought of trying any of the rad clothes. In fact, he didn't much care about clothing styles at all.
But Sister felt differently. She was already angry about what Miss Glitch had done to Queenie. And when she heard Papa say, "Just so you don't do it," she got even angrier. It really bothered her when her parents told her not to do something that all her friends were doing. And in the back of her mind, she had been thinking about trying out the kneehole look.
Suddenly, Sister remembered Lizzy's suggestion. I'll show them! she thought. Tomorrow morning I'll stop at Lizzy's and borrow a pair of jeans with kneeholes big enough for basketballs to fit through!CHAPTER 5
As it turned out, Sister Bear wasn't the only cub who was angry about what Miss Glitch had done to Queenie or about what her parents had to say about it. The next morning, dozens of cubs who had never worn rad clothes to school showed up in cutoffs and jeans with kneeholes.
Some cubs who had been wearing rad clothes all along came to school in rad clothes that were even more far-out. Babs Bruno wore three anklets on each ankle and two rings on each toe. To his monster jacket, Barry Bruin added a pair of jeans with one long leg and one cutoff leg. And Trudy Brunowitz showed up in a pair of paint-spattered jeans that looked a lot like the overalls worn by Grizzly Gus, the school custodian, when he was painting.
The cubs couldn't help noticing that Ferdy Factual wasn't with Trudy. It looked as if the two weren't even speaking to each other. The dress wars were on!
And Mr. Grizzmeyer was ready for them. As the cubs came into school, he patrolled the halls himself, with a whistle in his mouth and a stern look on his face. The whistle squealed again and again as he stopped cubs and warned them about their clothing.
Excerpted from The Berenstain Bears and the Dress Code by Stan Berenstain, Jan Berenstain. Copyright © 1994 Berenstain Enterprises, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Contents1. Spring Fashions,
2. The Miniskirt and Miss Glitch,
3. A Growing Problem,
4. A Family Discussion,
5. Dress Wars,
6. Too-Tall's Surprise,
7. A Mild Response,
8. Bad News and Worse News,
9. Morning Message,
10. The Turning Point,
11. Cat-and-Mouse Game,
12. To Strike or Not to Strike,
13. Dweebish's Secret Plan,
14. The Moment of Truth,
15. Back to Normal,