Bear and Squirrel Are Friends…Yes, Really!

Bear and Squirrel Are Friends…Yes, Really! illus. by Deb Pilutti. 40p. ebook available. S. & S./Paula Wiseman Bks. Sept. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481429139.
PreS-Gr 1—In this gently teasing picture book, Bear and Squirrel are unusual friends who help each other out. Bear shakes trees so that acorns fall down for Squirrel, and Squirrel helps Bear with some household dusting, but they also play games and have fun together. The other bears and squirrels don't get it—the other bears think Squirrel would be a great snack, and Squirrel's friends worry he'll get eaten. After a long winter of hibernation, Bear awakens and sees Squirrel as a cupcake, and tells Squirrel how delicious he looks. After a few ambiguous and terrifying moments where Bear declares that he can't resist, readers learn that Bear has eaten the blueberry pancakes Squirrel has made without saving any. Bear and Squirrel's friendship is sweet and endearing, but their story is also full of humor, such as when Bear uses Squirrel's tail as a feather duster, Bear's dream bubbles show sandwiches and pizza, and he literally sees Squirrel as a cupcake. The clear, simple illustrations are drawn in muted pastels. Children will laugh at the story and perhaps even learn about being a good friend.
VERDICT A general purchase for most library collections.

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