The Picture Book Buzz

Bear Meet Bear - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Making a new friend takes courage. Courage to take the first step. Courage to put yourself out there and say 'hello.' Whether you're in a new place or welcoming someone to a familiar place, sometimes it's tough to battle shyness and untangle ones tongue. This is a fun book about a shy bear whose extroverted, though silent, roommate helps him take a risk and make a friend.


Bear Meets Bear


Author/Illustrator: Jacob Grant


Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's Books USA (2020)


Ages: 3-6


Fiction


Themes:

Shyness, friendship, animals, and courage.


Synopsis:

Love is in the air in the latest story featuring the charming friendship of Bear and Spider — and a special someone. Perfect for fans of Peter Brown and Greg Pizzoli!


Bear is excited for his new teapot to arrive. When the doorbell rings, Bear finds something unexpected — a new delivery person, Panda, who happens to be very charming.


Bear does the only thing he can think of — he orders another teapot so he can see Panda again. But he's too flustered to talk to her . . . so he orders another teapot. And another.


Spider encourages Bear to invite Panda to tea, but one day, a new delivery person arrives at the door. Seeing how devastated his friend is, Spider sets out on a journey to find Panda and help his friend find the courage to be himself.


The fantastic duo from Bear's Scare and Bear Out There is back in another sweet friendship story that's perfect for Valentine's Day.


Opening Lines:

Bear was waiting.

He and Spider had ordered a new teapot,

and it would arrive at their house that day.


“It’s always great fun to expect a delivery,” said Bear.


What I Loved about this book:

I fell in love with Bear and Spider in their first book Bear Scare. Even though I ordinarily don't like spiders, this one is so cute, persistent, and friendly, it's hard not to like him. Although Spider tries to fix their broken teapot, Bear decides to order a new one. And the two eagerly await the delivery of a new teapot. I love the outline of the delivery person at the gate and that their pasttime while waiting is reading a book. I think Spider sums up a kid's impression of waiting - for anything.

© Jacob Grant, 2020.


When the delivery person turns out to be a "charming lady [Panda] bear," Bear can't move or talk. Somehow, he manages to sign his name. Initially, Spider is bemused at Bear's reaction, as he rushes to order another teapot - so Panda will come back to the door. The laptop with a pawprint logo is a fun nod to our realities (especially since the Covid pandemic). In a beautifully colored tetraptych spread (a four-part work of art), Bear and Spider wait for a few days for Panda to deliver the second teapot.

© Jacob Grant, 2020.


I really enjoy the passage of time, shown in this spread. Especially the antics of Spider as he reads, weaves, and plays his banjo while they wait. But the expression on Bear's face when sees Panda coming is simply adorable. Will he be able to say "hi" this time? Nope. Spider's sympathy for Bear begins to dim as Bear orders teapot, after teapot, after teapot - each time trying to get up the courage to say "hi" to Panda. Spider implores Bear to talk to Panda, or "at least remember to breathe, and to stop flooding their home with teapots."


Bear promises - just one last pot. But horror of horrors, a "gruff raccoon" delivers this teapot! "Bear's heart hurt." Wanting to cheer his friend, Spider decides to give things a little nudge. Talk about adorable!

© Jacob Grant, 2020.


When Spider . . . well, Bear coyly suggest you get the book to see what happens. This is a delightful book on friendship, overcoming shyness, and trying new things. The adorable characters and warm pastel colors create a sweet book that is perfect for Valentines' Day or just encouraging acts of kindness.


Resources:

- have a tea party with stuffed friends, siblings, or parents. Maybe try some peanut butter & honey bear sandwiches (https://simpleseasonal.com/recipes/peanut-butter-and-honey-bear-tea-sandwiches).


- send a card or email to a friend.


- write a story, or draw a picture, of time that you were shy. What or who helped you?


- listen to Jacob Grant read Bear Meets Bear and learn to draw Bear and Spider (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpZ0olGtuU0&ab_channel=BooksInc ~ begins @ 19:00) .


If you missed it, be sure to check out Monday's interview with Jacob Grant, Bear & Spider (here).


This post is part of a series by authors and KidLit bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture book suggestions see Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Books.

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