Monday, June 14, 2010

Bear and Chook by the sea by Lisa Shanahan illustrated by Emma Quay

If you have been reading my blog you will know I really value books about friendship and this lovely book, short listed for the Children’s Book Council awards for 2010, is no exception.

Bear and Chook are so different. Different in size, looks, behavior and most importantly different in their view of the world. We talk about glass half full and glass half empty. Just like Minton and Turtle in the series by Anna Fienberg, Chook is the doubter (not quite a pessimist) and Bear is the optimist, they are two halves of an important whole.

Bear sets the pace for their adventure to the sea but it is Chook who guides him safely home when things don’t quite turn out as planned and when they arrive home “Bear made chook some warm honey toast.” Any mention of honey is sure to get me in. When I was a young child my all time favourite book, the one I could recite every word, was about Yogi bear eating warm honey cake. It was a little Golden book and I still long to find a copy.

Bear and Chook by the sea is just a delight from beginning to end. The youngest children will enjoy the repeated noisy phrases as our heroes journey out into the world and back again. More experienced readers will enjoy the completely satisfying ending when Chook allows Bear to continue his dream. Adults might even find there is quite a lot to learn about relationships in this charming story.

Mark Macleod has lovely things to say about this book too. I did love the first book Bear and Chook but I think this sequel is even better. You can also read some teachers notes.

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