Bear and Beeby Sergio Ruzzier
After a nice long hibernation, Bear wakes up and craves some honey. When he spots a beehive in the distance, he heads right for it! Sitting on top of the beehive is Bee who graciously offers Bear some honey, but Bear is worried. He believes that bees are big, scary creatures who do not share their honey. But Bear's new friend just happens to be a bee! And Bee is
After a nice long hibernation, Bear wakes up and craves some honey. When he spots a beehive in the distance, he heads right for it! Sitting on top of the beehive is Bee who graciously offers Bear some honey, but Bear is worried. He believes that bees are big, scary creatures who do not share their honey. But Bear's new friend just happens to be a bee! And Bee is small and most certainly is not scary. But do bees share honey? Turns out they do!
Bear wakes up hungry from hibernation, and the only food source in sight is a beehive. When the bee on top of the hive offers up his honey, Bear says, "But what about the bee?" See, Bear doesn't actually know what a bee is-it's certainly not the creature he is talking to-and his preconceived notions about bees include that they're "terrible monsters!" with "large teeth" and "sharp claws." As Bee rightly points out, Bear has large teeth and sharp claws. This leads to the funniest moment in the book, when Bear has a horrific realization: "I AM A BEE!" Of course all is sorted in the end and honey is shared. This sweet, if slight, story cleverly begins on the endpapers, which depict snowfall, followed by a hibernating bear, and then a thaw on the title page. These two unlikely friends, rendered in pen-and-ink and colored digitally, are charmers with stylish taste in footwear: Bee wears nothing but high-tops and Bear, red slides. This story about snap judgments is wrapped in cuteness, making it just right for the pre-school set. - Ann Kelley—Booklist
Bear has never seen bees before but he describes them as terrible monsters. "They are big, and they have large teeth, and they have sharp claws, and they never share their honey!" Bear learns to appreciate the qualities of bees (and bears) when he unexpectedly meets one for the first time. The bee points out that Bear has described himself, leaving him in despair until Bee reveals his own identity. Their humorous conversation, which remedies Bear's prejudice, ends with a shared meal of honey between two new friends. Digitally colored pen-and-ink illustrations depict close-ups of the characters against a simple spring background of turquoise skies, yellow-green grass, and sprightly flowers. The minimal text is comprised of dialogue between the two characters. Expressive words appear in boldface type. The starry scene at the end of the book makes this story a good choice for bedtime as well. Tanya Boudreau, Cold Lake Public Library, AB, Canada—SLJ
Bear wants some honey, but he is too afraid of bees to approach a hive that's hanging off a tree branch, just at eye level. He shares his fears with a stranger, who asks him if he's ever seen a bee. The fearsome creature Bear then imagines and describes to the stranger is nothing like a real bee, but very much like a bear. And even the youngest audience will know that the sympathetic stranger Bear is talking to is, in fact, a bee, and that there is nothing at all to fear in either one of them. Bear wears flip-flops and Bee wears high-top sneakers in the comical illustrations printed in monochromatic hues. Ruzzier clearly understands the psyches of young children, who are more likely to fear bees than bears and who will delight in being smarter-and braver-than Bear. A sure hit for the story-hour set. kathleen t. horning—Horn Book
Hungry little Bear would love some honey, which he's kindly being offered, but he's afraid of upsetting the dangerous bees. He thinks he knows what bees are: they are "terrible monsters. They are big and they have large teeth, and they have sharp claws, and they never share their honey!" The kindly critter offering honey points out that Bear is the one who's big, with large teeth and sharp claws ("Poor me! I am a bee!" cries Bear), and then reveals himself to be an actual bee-who does indeed share his honey. Oversized fears are something kids can definitely relate to, and the book gently and tacitly addresses the topic while making an excellent layered joke that's easily within youngsters' grasp. They'll enjoy knowing from the start what silly Bear doesn't, and his moment of wrong-headed self-identification is preschool comedy gold. Ruzzier's cozily uneven, very handmade lines are filled with opaque planes of soft digital color over full-bleed backgrounds to make a simple but warmly welcoming landscape. As usual, he has some subtle otherworldly touches (the botanicals are a little Seussian, and the bear's imagined bee is pretty Martian), but those elements are counterpointed by the everydayness of both characters' footwear (Bear in simple sandals, Bee in gym shoes) and their childlike gestures (Bee expressively deploys all four arms). This friendship-not-fear tale is a natural for storytime or laptime, especially if followed up by a nice honey-touched snack. DS—BCCB
Bear and Bee Bear has never seen a bee, but he doesn't like them and has no doubt they don't play well with others. "Bees are terrible monsters!" Bear says. "They are big, and they have large teeth, and they have sharp claws, and they never share their honey!" Luckily, Bee, who is standing right in front of Bear as he unfurls this lurid fantasy, seizes this as a teachable moment, and points out that Bear actually has many of the qualities that he ascribes to bees. After some momentary confusion ("Poor me! I'm a Bee!" wails Bear, flinging himself to the ground in despair), the two become honey-sharing buddies. Ruzzier's (Tweak Tweak) cartooned pen-and-ink drawings are a bit underwhelming; the relatively minimal backgrounds only emphasize the weak characterizations (the characters' facial expressions are tepid, and putting Bee in high top sneakers is no substitute for giving him a personality). But Ruzzier has a solid sense of comic timing and proffers his lesson on the folly of prejudice with an admirably light touch. Ages 2 5.—PW
Meet the Author
Sergio Ruzzier (http://ruzzier.com/) won the Parents' Choice Award in 2004 for his work in, Why Mole Shouted and Other Stories and has been awarded by Society of Illustrators, Society of Publication Designers, American Illustration and Communication Arts. Ruzzier has worked for many national and international magazines and book publishers, creating comic strips for Italian magazines such as Linus and Lupo Alberto Magazine. He currently lives in New York.
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