CM . . . . Volume XVII Number 34 . . . . May 6, 2011
The Very Itchy Bear, a visually engaging story about a wild bear named Bear and a friendly flea named Flea, starts off in the forest when Flea bites Bear to say Hello!, thereby making Bear very itchy. Bear can't wait to get rid of his new biting flea and goes to great lengths to do so, even ending up in the sea. This series of actions creates funny and poignant moments for both Bear and Flea.
This book will be a delight for children who are being read to at home or in the classroom or learning to read themselves. Having grown up reading Dr. Suess, I have to say that this book reminds me of his writing style a lot. It is very rhythmic in tone with funny twists of phrase that make you laugh and think at the same time. The writing level is appropriate for the intended audience, and the author has included lots of images to help explain the meaning of the words. The illustrations add to the fun. They are active, colourful and very expressive, which will appeal to the young audience for which this book is intended.
At first, you sympathize with Bear's urgent need to get rid of Flea, but then Bear's sudden change of heart makes you smile. A very heartwarming ending follows Bear's rescue of Flea. Bear and Flea then become fast friends and go everywhere together.
The Very Itchy Bear teaches children about communicating, learning about other creatures, valuing life and enjoying friendship.
Jacqueline Snider is a Montreal freelance writer and editor specializing in trade and children's and juvenile fiction.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal
use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any
other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.