Bear and Bee learn that things aren’t very much fun without a friend to share them with.
In their second outing (Bear and Bee, 2013), Bear and Bee’s new friendship is tested as Bear tries to entice Bee into doing his favorite things with him, while Bee is busy with chores. Despite such diversions as rolling down the hill, climbing a tree and splashing in the pond, Bee’s chores (watering plants, cooking, sweeping) take precedence over spending time with Bear, a situation sure to be familiar to children who have similarly busy parents. Bears sums it up neatly when he remarks, “Oh Bee….Having fun is not as fun without you.” Repetitive refrains will get listeners participating and help new readers build confidence: “Come and….You will love it!... // “No thank you….I’m too busy to….” The shoe is on the other foot after Bear falls asleep and Bee wants to gaze at the moon with him. Unsurprisingly, Bear’s too busy. But Bee’s clever compromise is a happy resolution for both friends. Throughout, the simple illustrations captivate (and sometimes stun) with their Seuss-ian colors.
Though a tad didactic and not as sweet as the first, Ruzzier’s second in the Bear and Bee series offers young readers an important lesson that goes down easy. What will be next for the two friends? (Picture book. 3-5)