Rabbit & Bear #5: A Bad King is a Sad Thing; Julian Gough, illustrated by Jim Field
Rabbit and Bear return in another brilliant story of bravery, friendship, teamwork and standing up to bossy polar bears.
There’s a new arrival in Rabbit and Bear’s valley and he is demanding to be King. The kind and caring animals are desperate to understand their new arrival but the more they talk the angrier the Icebear gets. Before long he has claimed the valley, declared himself King and demands that the animals build him an ice palace by morning. And if they don’t…well he’ll just have to eat everyone.
When Bear cannot think of a solution to the problem, Rabbit sets off to seek out Wolf for advice. Will Wolf be able to come up with a plan or do the animals need to look within themselves for the solution to defeating Icebear…
This is the fifth instalment in the adventures of Rabbit and Bear. I absolutely love these books, they are one of my favourite series for readers who are transitioning from picture books to chapter books. With an easy to follow story, wonderful illustrations and sized for small hands, the books really are perfect in every single way.
Sometimes life serves you up a problem that no amount of kindness and friendship can solve, the problem needs to be addressed head on, put back in its place and hopefully chased out of town. But it’s not that easy when the problem is massive, has sharp teeth and sees other animals as, “Just food that no one has bothered to eat.”
However, Rabbit and Bear have become pretty good at solving problems and are up to their usual antics in another charming and funny read with some valuable life lessons delivered by a rather surprising source. Oh and of course, no Rabbit and Bear story would be complete without a little bit of poo. The humorous adventure relies on the strength of community cohesion to solve a problem and some wise words of wisdom from Wolf, who exhibits some of his lesser known philosophical qualities as he ‘tricks’ the animals into finding their inner warriors and standing up for themselves.
Slightly darker than its predecessors, Julian Gough and Jim Field tread that fine line between scary and funny with more worrying and precarious moments offset beautifully with a funny one-liner. Field’s illustrations, that bring the characters to life, are filled with emotion and the muted colours of greys and purples convey an icy winter wonderland.
Good times and laughs are guaranteed with my favourite animal duo!
Recommended for 5+.
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