Charlesbridge. Oct. 2019. 32p. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781580896832.
PreS-Gr 1–“Beware a bear…. Beware a bee!” the bee and bear parents caution their children. Descriptive art in a full spread highlights the warning for little bear Abe and little bee Bree with a “buzz” of dashes and swirls. Both young bear and bee ignore their elders and continue innocently on their own, until a chance meeting between the two creates a panicked confrontation and a frenzied, hurtful fight for escape. Dialogue with expressive pen-and-ink and watercolor art reveal the characters’ changing emotions, and beginning readers will find ample opportunity to infer action and understanding of the characters through the art. The confrontation—in which young Bree and Abe progress from ignorance to fear and finally to friendship—emphasizes social emotional learning.
VERDICT A suggested first purchase, this title is a strong addition to any picture book collection and an appealing choice for fledgling readers.

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