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.