Friday, August 01, 2014

Biblio-Buddies: A Library Book for Bear by Bonny Becker

When Bear opened the door, there was Mouse, small, gray, and bright-eyed.

"We are off!" exclaimed Mouse, with a happy wag of his whiskers.

Bear frowned. He had agreed to go with Mouse to the library, but now he was quite sure it was a dreadful mistake.

"Completely unnecessary," Bear announced. "I have all the books I need right here."

Bear points a definitive paw at his mantle, where there are indeed seven books--four about kings and queens, two about honeybees, and one about pickles.

But a promise is a promise, so Bear straps on his red roller skates, grabs a basket for Mouse to ride in, and rolls off. Bear is intimidated by the look of the large, imposing library, but Mouse pulls him inside cheerily. Bear feels overwhelmed by so many books, so he heads for a quiet nook between two well-stocked stacks.

"Hmmmph! Terribly extravagant!" Bear grumbles.

Bear is not one for wretched excess, and he continues grumping at Mouse, who gamely tries to please him, retrieving first a book on wooden canoes and then a book about rockets.


Bear's voice was getting louder.

"Quiet voices in the library," counsels Mouse politely.

Bear informs Mouse that he is most capable of finding his own book, one about pickles. After all, he has one about pickles.

"I can assure you that pickles are quite interesting!"

A loud SHUSH is heard from the other side of the stack. Bear peers around the shelf and sees a librarian reading a story to a circle of young listeners. A mother raccoon glares at him to be quiet.

Bear is affronted and announces that he is ready to leave, when he hears a line from the story.

"So the very brave bear began to inch his way toward the treasure chest...

And inside the chest there was a mound of pickle slices...made of diamonds and gold...

Bear is hooked.

And as he rides home in Bear's basket, on top of a pile of indubitably interesting pickle books, Mouse's eyes are very bright.

Bonny Becker's brand-new (and already best-selling) latest in her series, A Library Book for Bear (Bear and Mouse) (Candlewick Press, 2014), continues her stories of the curmudgeonly, change-resistant Bear, and his friend, the small, gray Mouse who knows just what Bear wants before he knows he wants it. With gentle, wry understatement in the narrative and the soft watercolor illustrations of Kady MacDonald Denton, this one is another not-to-be-missed entry in this joyfully insightful series on the intricacies of friendship.

Other delightful books about this odd couple of friends are A Visitor for Bear (Bear and Mouse), A Bedtime for Bear (Bear and Mouse), A Birthday for Bear: Candlewick Sparks and The Sniffles for Bear (Bear and Mouse), each one better than the other.

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