What stops a bear cub from gobbling down a plateful of delicious cookies? Tea Party rules, of course!
When a little bear cub follows his nose to a plateful of cookies laid out for a little girl’s tea party, he takes the place of a stuffed bear at the table, generously telling the teddy that he will eat the cookies for him. When the young hostess emerges, Cub pretends to be stuffed. “You’re grubby,” she tells him, carrying him inside. “Tea Party Rule: you must be clean. Then we can have cookies.” Dyckman’s sophomore title (Boy and Bot, illustrated by Dan Yaccarino, 2012) successfully uses role-reversal comedy in developing this friendship. Amusing illustrations by Campbell in sepia marker and colored pencil reveal the emotions of both the disgruntled Cub and the girl. The pages are artfully constructed, with white space highlighting Cub as the girl scrutinizes his appearance. Readers will easily see that Cub is not happy being clean and neat and polished in order to enjoy those cookies. With perfect pacing, the tension builds along with the rules. Young listeners will want to shout out “He’s a BEAR!” The lesson—playing together is much more fun when both parties agree on the rules—goes down easy in this tale of newfound friendship.
Strong storytelling, pacing, emotive illustrations that match the deceptive plot and an exuberant sense of fun make this little gem a winner. (Picture book. 3-7)