Hector and the Hummingbird

Hector and the Hummingbird
Age Range
4+
Release Date
March 29, 2016
ISBN
9780545857017
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Hector the bear has a big problem: His friend Hummingbird just won't be quiet! Whether Hector's trying to enjoy a snack, get a good scratch against a tree, or take a nap, Hummingbird's always buzzing around, asking too many questions. The pair have always been best friends, but will Hector ever find peace and quiet with Hummingbird around?

Editor review

1 review
Another bear from darkest Peru
Overall rating
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
Hector the bear and his constant companion Hummingbird investigate the wilds of Peru, eating breadfruit and scratching themselves on trees. Hummingbird, however, is a bit too high energy for Hector, and eventually wears on Hector's nerves. Hector tells Hummingbird to leave him alone, which Hummingbird does... mostly. He follows Hector as he goes through his day in peace and quiet, but never makes his presence known. Hector eventually gets lonely, but since Hummingbird has never been two far away, the two have a cheerful reunion. Hector tries to explain his need for quiet to his friend, and the two work out a way for them to be together but not drive wash other crazy.
Good Points
The illustrations are the very best part of this book. The colors are reminiscent of The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes, and something about the retro 1950s font and the colors just really made me happy. Hummingbird appears several times on each page, flitting about and driving Hector up a tree! The style is very original and singular, but Frith clearly has studied mid century illustrations and internalized the best features of it.

The story has a good message about giving people space, and I can't think of many other picture books that have that message, although there should be a lot! While it's good that Hummingbird eventually learns his lesson, my own personal children would probably have taken this as a prescription to follow me around but be really quiet about it! There is a list at the back of the book of different jungle animals that can be found on the pages, and that adds another level to an already interesting story.
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