What About Bear?

What About Bear?

What About Bear?
Suzanne Bloom

Alanna Books

ISBN 9781907825088

It's playtime. Goose and Bear are having fun. Little Fox joins in. Somebody gets left out. Who will fix the friendship? The dilemma of choosing one friend over another is one of childhood's classic problems. Goose and Bear show Fox that including friends is more fun than excluding them.

Librarian's Book choice

Once upon a time a tiny publisher found a book so perfect for the preschool children it specialised in that it strived long and hard to bring it eventually to the UK. That book was A Splendid Friend Indeed shortlisted for the UKLA Book Award and beloved by those teacher judges for the simplicity of the text and the impact of the evocative illustrations and its emotional truth.

Like me those teachers will be jumping for joy to see the bear and his best friend again and will be slightly tense as they open the covers. But they can relax; once again we have the perfect rendition of a very typical emotional problem for children of any age. The temptation and attraction of the new friend juxtaposed with loyalty to the old friend.

There is incredible emotion in these skilfully rendered highly textured pastel pictures. A pre-reader could completely tell the story from the pictures alone and indeed it will prompt very valuable talk opportunities if you let them explain the pictures to you.

Without being at all preachy and issues-led and without any patronising notes for parents and teachers, this is a very valuable resource for emotional literacy and a brilliant demonstration of the efficacy of good quality picture books to speak to us all. We should all say a big Thank You to Alanna Books for bringing Bear and Goose to the UK to become our friends too!

Reviewed by Joy Court, Librarian