Bear and Squirrel are the best of friends. Bear loves their adventures, playdates, tea parties and conversations. Like strawberries and cream they are the perfect fit and Bear is sure that the two will stick together no matter what. But what will happen when it all gets a little bit too much for Squirrel who decides that Bear is becoming a bit overBEARing and some alone time is needed…
Some things just go together and the characters in this story are two such things. The two are fairly unlikely friends given the size difference and the problems that Bear often causes for Squirrel; Squirrel gets catapulted into the air off of the see-saw, Bear destroys Squirrel’s treehouse and takes up way too much room in Squirrel’s underground burrow. Despite all of this, the duo are absolutely delightful in a read that celebrates all of the things that a friendship is. Of course there are bumps along the road but that’s all part of it and rather than not have Bear as a friend, Squirrel just needs to make Bear more aware of the needs of a small animal.
Children will relate to the situation that Squirrel faces, an overbearing friend that just seems to cause more harm than good. But Bear’s intentions are always rooted in friendship and it doesn’t take long for Squirrel to realise that life is much better when Bear is around. The read will evoke many emotions in young children as they laugh at the funny antics, sympathise and empathise when the two friends go their separate ways before feeling happiness with an ending where everything is good again and we can all carry on with the knowledge that Bear and Squirrel are hanging out together again.
Smriti Prasadam-Halls’ delightful rhyming prose are warm, witty and had me smiling throughout. Whilst the text gushes with all of Bear’s positivity and love for Squirrel, the illustrations tell a different story as Squirrel gets soaked, tossed, bashed and squashed (albeit accidentally). A subtle exclamation mark here, a rain cloud there, and crossed little arms are all signs of Squirrel’s growing frustrations with Bear. Steve Small’s illustrations are not only clever they are gorgeous and just perfect.
Sure to become an instant favourite and is a book that readers will definitely ‘stick’ to. I just want to read this book over and over and over again.
Recommended for 4+.