This story fits into the tradition of friendship pairs common in books for preschool and early elementary children where one friend is exuberant, outgoing, and impulsive, while the other is introverted, easily annoyed, and organized. Like books such as those in the Frog and Toad and Elephant and Piggie series, John and Davies’ story makes for a humorous read-aloud, one which children and adults alike will enjoy rereading.
There were a few questions that came up which distracted me from the storyline. For instance, when Duck realizes Bear is gone, he breaks into Bear’s house and entertains himself with a number of Bear’s things. However, as he lists what he can do to pass the time, he says, “I’ll play my drums!” I found myself wondering whether his drums were at Bear’s house or whether he’d gone back to his own house.
These questions aside, this is a solid story with enjoyable characters. Educators might find it a useful way to discuss the need for alone time. There is a possibility for some quite nuanced conversation, and adults can point out that when Duck and Bear do finally reconnect, Duck makes things both better and worse for Bear. On the whole, this book is worth a read, and most likely, a reread!