A cautionary tale using words made up of only the five letters in the title (B, E, W, A, and R). Can a bear and a bee become friends?
Abe and Bree aren't supposed to get along. When they meet, they panic. Abe swats! Bree stings! Now they're both hurt. Together they figure out how to find friendship despite differences and preconceived notions. This rare-bear, wee-bee tale helps to create a web of understanding with unique language and a clever structure.
About the Author
Bob Raczka has always loved playing with words. He is the author of many books for children, including Niko Draws a Feeling and Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems. He studied art in college and has worked in advertising for more than twenty-five years.
Larry Day is the award-winning illustrator of many books for children, including Lion Lion and Raisin: The Littlest Cow, both by Miriam Busch; Nice Work, Franklin! by Suzanne Tripp Jurmain; and Found by Jeff Newman. He holds a degree in commercial art and is the recipient of three gold medals from the Society of Illustrators and the SCBWI Golden Kite Award.
♦ “Beware a bear…. Beware a bee!” the bee and bear parents caution their children. Descriptive art in a full spread highlights the warning for little bear Abe and little bee Bree with a “buzz” of dashes and swirls. Both young bear and bee ignore their elders and continue innocently on their own, until a chance meeting between the two creates a panicked confrontation and a frenzied, hurtful fight for escape. Dialogue with expressive pen-and-ink and watercolor art reveal the characters’ changing emotions, and beginning readers will find ample opportunity to infer action and understanding of the characters through the art. The confrontation—in which young Bree and Abe progress from ignorance to fear and finally to friendship—emphasizes social emotional learning. VERDICT A suggested first purchase, this title is a strong addition to any picture book collection and an appealing choice for fledgling readers.
—School Library Journal, starred review
The five letters in the title—two vowels and three consonants—spell out all the words necessary to tell the story of two animals usually at odds but who become steadfast friends. A young bumblebee named Bree and a young bear named Abe are each cautioned by their parents to beware the other. Of course, they do not listen to this advice as they are each gathering flowers and have a painful encounter marked with a "RRRRR!" and an "EEEEE!" And it is a somewhat achy meeting at that, with each animal bemoaning its sore "rear" over several pages. Happily, this leads to mutual introductions, and, with the presentation of a flower, an endearing friendship. "Aww…." Day's watercolor and pen-and-ink illustrations present two cuddly critters in a woodland setting with lots of close-ups of their facial expressions. White space effectively showcases the antics of Bree and Abe, allowing readers to easily follow their adventures. Children may enjoy pointing out each of the delimited letters in every word of the tale. A cautionary tale that adults can take on one level but that children will enjoy at its most basic.