Bear is a great reader, but when he wants to write his own book, he suffers from a common malady: writer’s block.
He tries to find ideas by engaging in his favorite activities. First he tries to find a tree he can scratch his back on, but Mouse asks him for help with his dancing. Then he goes for a swim in the river—but there, he’s enlisted to help tow Rabbit’s boat back to the riverbank. Finally, he tries climbing a tall tree, but a baby owl needs rescuing. Frustrated, he returns to his house for lunch. Sitting at his little table with its blue gingham tablecloth, he tries again to write a story like his favorites, which have “exciting beginnings, dramatic middles, and happy-ever-after endings.” The ideas start to percolate. Bear writes and draws his own wonderful story to share when his good friends come around with a gift to thank him for his assistance. Presented as a gatefold, with antiqued paper and scrollwork borders, Bear’s opus is a special pirate story starring all the animals that Bear met that morning. The theme of friendship is matched by the warm, cozy feeling of the mixed-media illustrations. Bear’s helpfulness and his budding creativity make him a positive role model.
Reading, writing, listening, helping, thanking: Bear and his animal friends can inspire young readers in family, school, or library settings. (Picture book. 4-6)