Think back to when you were a child and your parents would read you to sleep ... or to when you learned how to read yourself to sleep while, let's face it, your parents were out at the dog track. Children's books were, and are, a magical window to fun and adventure written by authors who are presumably too lazy to write something for adults.
And now that you've grown up, chances are A) your literary tastes favor more refined fare, like Nietzsche and Dean Koontz, and B) you subsequently missed the fact that your cherished books of yesteryear went completely apeshit the moment your mind migrated to adult concerns, like taxes and the butts of Instagram.
The World Of The Berenstain Bears Gets Pretty Damn Dark
The Beloved Series:
The Berenstain Bears have made headlines in the past few years for having their books packaged with homophobic garbage food, and the theory that the spelling of "Berenstain" proves that part of the Earth's population came from a parallel universe, Jerry O'Connell-style. But the series' legacy will always be those pastoral picture books that deal with everyday issues, such as cleaning your room, learning table manners, and forcing yourself to play baseball to live out the shattered dreams of your oafish father.
Where Things Went Wrong:
The Berenstain-verse got surprisingly intense, and like dinner at Phil Spector's house, guns eventually made an appearance. The Berenstains started branching out into children's chapter books that addressed weightier subjects. One such subject? Fucking school shootings.
The Bear County Second Amendment: The Right to Arm Bears
The post-Columbine book No Guns Allowed has its heart in the right place, looking to tackle the issue of gun control in the same way messy rooms and junk food had been so swiftly dealt with. But like finding out that Narnia was teeming with meth-heads and gang wars you never knew about, this book reveals that the brightly colored Bear County of your childhood was secretly a pretty fucked-up place. For starters, everyone's obsessed with firearms and violence, as seen in this illustration featuring a bear unloading a shotgun, which, let's face it, is going to be your new desktop background.
Also, their boxing follows Rock 'em Sock 'em rules.