Hoarding is not collection development

When Teddy is a Drunk

When Someone in the Family Drinks Too Much
Langsen and Rubel
1996

Submitter: This one is just plain funny the way the author organized the book. The pictures of the bears are pure comedy, particularly the ones I scanned for you. Unfortunately, I can’t find any more from this author. Apparently, their life’s work was complete after this masterpiece.

Holly: The poor bears are pretty funny. I’m no child psychologist, but maybe a picture book about a difficult situation helps a child better understand what is happening to him. Maybe using animals makes it all less threatening than depicting humans. The only real problem I have with this book is that the vocabulary seems to be for older children. A child young enough to have a picture book read to him may not understand some of the phrasing used here. Otherwise, it isn’t the worst thing.

More Issue-Oriented Picture Books:

It’s Okay to Say Don’t

Don’t Look at Me

Mommy is a Drunk

Lisa’s Parents Fight

21 Responses to When Teddy is a Drunk

  • i love those illustrations, don’t think this book is awful! maybe a child psychologist (or an adult psychologist who specialized in treating children would disagree.) and the illustrator has done other books and has a nice website. i do think the pictures beat the text in this example.

  • Get rid of the purple hair? He has a purple nose! And, the neatly lined up beer cans—Dad is a really tidy drunk.
    But, I think for 5-6 year olds, this would be okay as an adult would be reading it with them. They wouldn’t look for this on their own.

  • RAP BEAR

  • Thank you, Elle. That’s just what I was going to say!

  • I love Rebel Bear! And Angry Drunk Dad Bear makes me think of what a bear would be like at a campsite if he got ahold of some beers. And clothes.

    Interesting foot position of the female bears in that family lineup. Hm.

  • Rebel Bear is awesome! Drunk Dad Bear looks like he is going to throw that beer can for a 50 yard pass.

  • I kinda want a plush toy of Rebel Bear. He comes with a little leather jacket, spray paint can, comb and Rap Bear CD (stolen, of course).

    • Me too! And don’t forget the shades, Rebel Bear needs his shades.

      • This would be a great idea for one of those Build-a-Bear stores at the mall. They already sell little skateboards and sunglasses.

  • Richard C. Langsen appears to be a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, which wikipedia says requires a Masters degree in Social Work. Nicole Rubel is herself a children’s author known for her “Rotten Ralph” series.

    • That’s what was bugging me about this book! I couldn’t put my finger on it, but now that you say it, the art style looks a lot like Rotten Ralph. Man, it must have been 20 years since I’ve read a Rotten Ralph book. Thanks for the nostalgia trip.

    • I can’t say this is a book I’d be thrilled to have on my shelves, but you would be surprised how many times in all my years as a children’s librarian that folks have asked for books such as this. The worst was trying to find a picture book about incest for an obviously devastated mother.

      Side note: Jack Gantos wrote the Rotten Ralph books and Nicole Rubel did the illustrations. Interestingly, Jack chronicled his time in a federal prison for smuggling hashish in Hole in My Life. I guess Rotten Ralph lives in all of us.

    • Maybe it was Nicole Rubel’s idea to do it with bears, possibly with the other author’s descriptions of suggestions of scenes, like the comics. The scenes have nothing to do with them being bears, either. But it does make it… bearable. Which, considering what a real encounter with a drunk bear would be like, is surprising.

  • Daddy Bear looks really cute when he’s cross. Kind of like an over-excited kitten Can’t think why the rest of the family is upset. (Message fail, methinks!)

  • Daddy Bear looks really cute when he’s cross. Kind of like an over-excited kitten. Can’t think why the rest of the family is upset. (Message fail, methinks!)

  • Rebel Bear, you put out that match right now!

  • This actually explains the dynamic in a friend’s house — her dad was a drunk and she and her brother both managed to be Perfect Children. Thank goodness she could come over to our house and relax a bit.

  • I don’t find this to be awful at all. I also think the vocabulary is not bad for middle-aged kids. I don’t know, it might just be because I am an adult child of an alcoholic and wish I had a book like this when I was younger.

  • I like rebel bear painting weird indecipherable messages on the fence, and smashing the house with a baseball bat. I dig his directionless anger.

  • I actually feel really bad looking at the bear kid and his smashed space shuttle, so I guess the book is potentially effective.