A bear’s tranquility and rest are rudely interrupted by a buzzing, whirring bug eager to make the bear’s warm fur his new place of lodging.
Bug’s incessant swirling about and landing on Bear is exasperating, leaving Bear to growl, “My fur’s not your home. Now PLEASE go away!” But the stripy red insect is all too content to settle in on Bear, even though his home seems “a TEENSY bit grumpy.” Bear’s desperate cry, “Won’t SOMEBODY help me?” brings clever old Owl with a plan, and relief is finally suggested for the agitated bear. Bothersome Bug is encouraged to nestle in with Sloth, who welcomes the idea. “ ‘I’d be MOST grateful,’ said Sloth with a grin, / ‘To have a small bug make his home on my skin. / I don’t move around much because I’m so slow. / But now I’ll have a friend wherever I go!’ ” Bug’s energetic dancing spin is highlighted with a tangle of dashes around Bear’s frustrated poses. Bold, large animal caricatures in vibrant colors, often on double-page spreads, balance well with the fluent rhyming text making it suitably easy for multiple readings. It’s too bad there’s no author’s note to provide a basic explanation of why a sloth’s fur is a perfect host for bugs, and the flora and fauna are more consistent of a northern woodland than a sloth’s typical rain- or cloud-forest habitat.
Quibbles aside, a gratifying and satisfying animal tale. (Picture book. 3-5)