Review Detail

Kids Fiction 110
beautifully illustrated book about slowing down
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
A FRIEND FOR BEAR is a beautifully illustrated picture book about needing to slow down and enjoy life. Bear has just woken up from her hibernation, and there is so much that she wants to do. When she is spinning, she trips over Tortoise and takes him along for the ride. However, Bear is moving too fast and won't listen to Tortoise, who isn't ready to climb trees or jump in the water. Finally, Bear listens to Tortoise, who stresses the importance of slowing down and enjoying the moment. When Bear is worried that she hasn't made any friends, Tortoise assures her that he is her friend.

What I loved: The illustrations are full page, lush, and really lovely. This is a beautiful book to look through. The story has some good ideas about the need to slow down and literally and metaphorically smell the flowers. There is also a message about listening to your friends and the need to take the time to understand what they mean. These can be really helpful messages for busy bears.

What left me wanting more: The text is pretty lengthy, and while it does get the messages across, it is surprising that Tortoise would want to be friends with Bear after everything Bear puts him through. This is a bit of a convoluted view on friendship, though Tortoise does enjoy some of the day. A discussion with children after reading can help to break down these ideas and messaging.

Final verdict: Overall, A FRIEND FOR BEAR is a interesting picture book about the need to slow down and enjoy the moment. Beautiful illustrations make this a lovely read to enjoy with children.
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