Sunday, November 26, 2017

Rabbit and Bear - The pest in the nest by Julian Gough and Jim Field

"Wow,' said Rabbit very quietly. 'I thought the world was Small, 
and full of Me; but it is Big and not full of me at all.' 
'Yes,' said Bear. 'Yes yes yes,' said Woodpecker."

Winter is over.  "Spring has sprung!"  Time for Rabbit to move out of Bear's cave and get on with spring cleaning his burrow.  He ejects a slow tortoise and settles down in the sunshine when

Bang! Bang! Bang!

There is a woodpecker in the tree near his burrow and she is making such a racket.  Rabbit it furious but Bear makes an excellent suggestion.

"What are you looking for?' said Bear. 
'A rock. A big one. To throw at that Woodpecker menace.' 
'Why don't we help her, instead?' said Bear.  
'Help her?'
'Yes, help her.'
"Help her DRIVE ME CRAZY?' said Rabbit. 'What kind of friend are YOU?'
'No,' said bear. 'Help her finish her job faster, so she doesn't drive you crazy."

Even though Rabbit calls Bear a traitor, Bear climbs the tree (he's had a lot of practice looking for honey).  He discovers the view is spectacular and so he gives Rabbit a lift up to the top of the tree so he can share this wonder.  Rabbit changes his outlook on life but on returning to the ground there are still things that infuriate him.  As Bear explains - "Maybe you could just think about the world differently ... Maybe you could accept it."

I love the way this book shows young readers how we can all make choices about our reactions to situations and to one another.  This book also talks about taking responsibility for these reactions and actions but not in a heavy 'teacher-talk' way.  This is little book is a true gem which will warm your heart and make you smile.  It might also make you want to climb a tree to see the mountains behind the mountains behind the mountains.

I adored the first book in this series about rabbit and bear and so I was exited to discover the second one.  I have been spending some time recently looking for junior chapter books which I can recommend.  Both books in this series are on the top of my list.  Here are some of the pages from this book.

Good news early next year you can read the third book in this series.  If you click this quote you can read a more detailed review of The pest in the nest.

Warmth, tenderness and humour fill every page of this enchanting story. Simply written and utterly engaging, it effortlessly exemplifies the way to wisdom and wellbeing. Children's books for Keeps

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