From the Publisher
“Told with simplicity and charm, this story is appropriate for sharing aloud or for newly confident readers.”—School Library Journal
“In three brief stories the reader quickly becomes attached to Dog and Bear, and feels their connection. . . . As in all successful friendship stories, the balance keeps shifting between the two, with Dog and Bear taking turns being the friend-in-need and the friend indeed; and each story comes to a small, satisfying finish.”—The Horn Book, Starred Review
As inventive and fresh as Seeger's Hidden Alphabet, the three gentle stories in this inspired collection are utterly charming. Emerging readers will take to the rambunctious dachshund and winsome stuffed bear, and will find the bold font of the economical text easy to follow. Each story's conflict is satisfyingly resolved with a surprise ending that reflects these unique individuals. When Dog rattles off his inappropriate suggestions for changing his boring name, Bear suggests that Dog change his name to "My Best Friend Dog." Dog is delighted, but then blithely suggests that Bear call him "Dog for short." The uncluttered illustrations, in thick black line and swirling bright watercolor wash, work seamlessly with stories that rely on humor both child-centered and unexpected. When Dog coaches the timid bear off of a high chair ("Take one step. One little, tiny step"), their faces deftly mirror their emotions. Seeger comically combines Bear's narration of a story he is trying to read with Dog's rambunctious pleas ("Play with me! Play with me!"). When Bear finally puts his book down and asks what they should play, dog answers, "Read to me! Read to me!" After turning the last page, young readers will beg the same for this enchanting trio of tales. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)Agent: The Frank Weiman Literary Group.Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Quinby Frank
The author captures the joys, frustrations, and compromises of friendship in these three charmingly minimalist, easy-to-read stories. In the first story, Dog wants Bear to come out and play, but Bear is stuck on a high chair and afraid to come down. When Bear finally gets up his nerve to trust his friend to help him down, they both realize Bear's scarf is still on the chair. In the second story, Dog wants Bear to play, but Bear wants to be left alone to read his book. Despite Bear's hints, Dog does not give up. He really wants to read with Bear. In the final story, Dog wants to change his name. Bear helps him keep it the same. The stories are reminiscent of other classic friendship tales like those of Arnold Lobel's "Frog and Toad" and, more recently, Mo Willem's "Elephant and Piggie." A few well chosen words, combined with wonderfully revealing expressions, create a balance of text and illustration with a delightfully light touch. Generous white space highlights the interactions of the two friends. Dog grows larger as his pleas to Bear to play grow more insistent, and in the end both friends become the same size, indicating a meeting of minds. Seeger uses angles and boxed vignettes to effectively convey movement and changes of mood. This heart-warming book is sure to please.