Bear and Bunny by Daniel Pinkwater
THE BEAR IS SURE THE BUNNY IS A VERY SMALL BEAR. THE BUNNY IS SURE THE BEAR IS A VERY LARGE BUNNY.
THIS IS NOT SO, BUT IT WOULD BE TOO HARD TO EXPLAIN IT TO THEM. BESIDES, IT DOESN'T MATTER.
Titles and taxonomies are not important between true friends, and besides, the two are on what that other unlikely pair, Pooh and Piglet, called an "expotition."
They are wandering.
Wandering in the woods the bear finds an exceptional pine cone. A discussion around what to do with such a prize ensues, in which the bunny is led to ask an even more pertinent question.
"WHY DON'T WE HAVE SOME KIND OF PET?"
"WHAT IS A PET?" THE BEAR ASKS.
The bunny offers the information that a pet is an animal you take care of and that loves you. Puzzled, the bear replies that they are animals and they love each other. The bunny ponders his definition and points out that pets are small and not as clever as they are. Pine cones are smaller, yes, and certainly not at all clever, but they are definitely not animals. With that out of the way, pine cones are out of the question as a pet. A caterpillar is an animal, but since it finds its own leafy food, it doesn't need them to take care of it.
"DON'T GET ME WRONG," SAID THE BEAR, BUT I DON'T SEE THAT A CATERPILLAR WOULD BE MUCH FUN.
TOO MUCH THINKING. I NEED A NAP."
Luckily, following a restorative nap, they spot a frog, which they identify as a "kitty." But that brings up the pertinent question of what it eats.
"STRAWBERRIES, I THINK. IF IT DOESN'T WANT TO, WE CAN TRY OTHER THINGS," THE BUNNY CONCLUDES.
That sounds like a sensible plan, as the bunny and the "kitty" ride home on the bear's broad back, in this sequel to his notable Bear in Love, Daniel Pinkwater's newest picture book, Bear and Bunny (Candlewick Press, 2015).
Pinkwater does droll with the best of the buddy stories authors--A. A. Milne and the pals in the Hundred Acre Wood and Arnold Lobel and his Frog and Toad, and Pinkwater's goodhearted friends are a breath of fresh air, giving youngsters a chance to chuckle knowingly as they enjoy the pair naively thinking their way through life's novelties. Artist Will Hellenbrand is back to add his charming illustrations, done with a light line and soft pastel palette, which extend the story visually with elan. Wry, whimsical, and sweet, these stories deal simply but sagely with the serious question of what it means to be a friend and to care for each other--and, in this case, another. A truly satisfying read for the preschool and primary reader.