But The Bear Came Back (Tammi Sauer)

Hello, friends! Our book today is But The Bear Came Back, written by Tammi Sauer and illustrated by Dan Taylor, the story of a reluctant friendship.

A boy is reading at home when there is a knock on the door: a bear has arrived, suitcase in hand. The boy politely turns the bear away, and that is that… until the next day, and each day after, when the bear shows up again. Sometimes he has a friend in tow, sometimes he climbs in through the chimney, and he always seems to insert himself into the boy’s alone time: painting, reading, even his bath! Finally, the boy has had enough, and commands the bear go home, earning some peace and quiet. But after a few days, he begins to realize something: he may have accidentally made a friend, and now he misses that silly bear…

There were things I loved about this one. First, the illustrations are flawlessly adorable: from the big cuddly brown bear to some lovely little sight gags to a cozy and warm final spread, every page was delightful. The story is good, but also left some questions: why does the bear keep coming back? Why is the boy so immediately dismissive of him? Based on visual cues, it would seem that the boy is an introvert, but happily so: he is contentedly reading 101 Things To Do Alone as the bear arrives. So it’s understandable if the boy isn’t looking to socialize, but the bear continues his inept yet endearing efforts at friendship. It’s nice that the two find it in the end, but it also seemed to send the message that being with others is always preferable to being alone, which I would disagree with. The thing is, the art and text is so darn cute, it’s pretty easy to overlook this issue. Besides, JJ adored it, and it was a fine length. So overall, this one is Baby Bookworm approved – read it with a friend, or alone, whichever makes you happy!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

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