Having It All: Betty Bunny Wants Everything by Michael B. Kaplan
BETTY BUNNY WAS A HANDFUL.
SHE KNEW THIS BECAUSE WHEN SHE WAS AT THE MALL, STRANGERS CAME UP AND TOLD HER MOTHER, "WOW! THAT'S ONE HANDFUL!"
BETTY BUNNY KNEW SHE MUST BE PRETTY SPECIAL FOR COMPLETE STRANGERS TO SAY SUCH NICE THINGS ABOUT HER.
But Betty's mom is game, despite the warnings of complete strangers, and one day she ventures back to the toy store with Betty and her brothers:
"KIDS," SAID MOMMY, "AS A SPECIAL TREAT YOU CAN EACH PICK OUT ONE TOY. JUST ONE."
Two of Betty's brothers take their time and select their toys judiciously. Billy takes a different tack:
"I'LL JUST TAKE THE CASH," SAID BILLY
Betty immediately grabs a toy bunny which bears an uncanny resemblance to herself and christens her "Little Betty." Mom approves her choice, but while she makes her way to the cash register with the others, Betty takes a cart and begins filling it with what looks like half the toys in the store!
Mom reminds her of the deal. Betty's brothers piously point out that they have followed the rules, but Betty refuses to go along with the family plan. A big fuss follows; Betty has a meltdown; and Betty is the only kid who goes home with nothing, much to the pleasure of her virtuous and not-a-little self-righteous siblings.
"I HAVE THE MEANEST MOMMY IN THE WHOLE WORLD!" SHE PROTESTS.
Back home, Mom and Dad have a parental conference. Perhaps there is another way they can teach Betty to curb her enthusiasm for over-consumption. Taking a cue from Billy, they give Betty a toy allowance and take her back to the toy store, warning that she must stay within the limits of her cash.
Betty seems to be on board with these parameters. At the store she goes straight to the shelf where "Little Betty" is waiting and puts her in the cart. Mommy is pleased. But then Betty proceeds to pile the cart with more toys.
"THEY'RE NOT FOR ME!" SHE SAYS. "LITTLE BETTY WANTS THEM.
MAYBE YOU SHOULD GIVE HER SOME MONEY, TOO."
Now their little handful is projecting her acquisitiveness of her alter ego! Mom and Dad clearly have their work cut out for them with Betty Bunny, but there is hope that she gets the message in her second book, as "Little Betty" too goes home with nothing in Betty Bunny Wants Everything (Dial Book, 2012). Betty wants it all, but as in the earlier Betty Bunny Loves Chocolate Cake, (see my 2011 review here) Betty has to face up to the fact that there's a limit for everything--except perhaps the patience and love of her persistent parents. Young readers, who may see themselves as others see them in Betty's behavior, will likely get the message way before she does, giggling all the way through Michael Kaplan's and Stephanie Jorisch's latest Betty Bunny tale of a gal who wants it all--right now!