Bear and Weasel learn a powerful lesson in sharing.
Walking through the woods, Bear finds three mushrooms, which she brings home for dinner. Weasel cooks them to perfection, with salt and pepper and “a little parsley.” At the table, Bear takes two mushrooms for herself and gives one to Weasel. “That’s fair,” she says. “I’m big. I need to eat a lot.” Weasel disagrees; he’s small and is still growing. This small spat, well, mushrooms into a full-blown fight. Bear points out that she found the mushrooms, and Weasel counters that he cooked them, and to perfection. But it was Bear’s recipe, and she likes mushrooms more than Weasel, who is so hungry his stomach is grumbling. Bear says that her stomach is grumbling, too. But Weasel said it first. And Bear said that she wanted the extra mushroom first. Finally, Weasel declares that they aren’t friends anymore. He stabs the third mushroom with a fork, lifts it over his head, and…a fox snatches it right off the fork and eats it. There’s a moment of mutual shock and anger at the fox, but then Bear and Weasel sit down and wish each other “bon appetit.” For dessert…three juicy strawberries. Mühle’s storytelling has a fine sense of comic pacing, and his cartoons are simple but effective, uncluttered and full of white space, creating cozy domesticity in the forest.
This funny friendship fable hits the spot. (Picture book. 3-6)