Bear & Hare Share! (Emily Gravett)

Hello, friends! Sorry we missed yesterday’s review! As we get closer to our moving day, that may happen intermittently. But today, we’re back with a review of Bear & Hare Share! by Emily Gravett, a story about the power of sharing… sort of.

Best friends Bear and Hare set out on a walk one day looking for things to do. As they come upon a bright flower, Hare exclaims his joy and snatches it up. “Share?” asks Bear. “Mine!” declares Hare, and chomps the flower down in one bite. Much is the same for the ice cream and balloon they find: Bear asks to share, but Hare will not. At last Hare, alone, comes upon some honey – and the bees that made it! After getting a sharp stinging lesson in not stealing honey, Bear is there to share his first aid kit, and tenderly cares for his friend. Afterwards, he asks to share some of Hare’s honey, to which Hare again refuses.

If that sounds like a strange ending, well, yeah. I’m normally a huge fan of Emily Gravett’s stories, with their simple style and charming art, but this one just fell flat for me. I really didn’t like that Hare learned nothing from the experience, and continued to refuse to share with his inordinately patient friend. I think it’s meant as humor, but it just didn’t really land for us. The art is great, the length is fine, and there were lots of things and simple words that JJ could identify, which she enjoyed. But overall, the negative message of this one made for a pretty disappointing read, so we can’t put our stamp of approval on it. Go check out any of Emily Gravett’s other books, most of which are delightful. 

Best Frints In The Whole Universe (Antoinette Portis)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Best Frints In The Whole Universe by Antoinette Portis, a funny tale about conflict between friends – err – “frints.” 

On the planet Boborp, there are no two better frints (friends) than Omek and Yelfred. Why, they’ve been frints since they were little blobbies (babies). However, sometimes frints can fight, using teef (teeth) even, such as when one frint schmakles the other’s brand new spossip. Can these frints make amends?

This book was definitely silly, but still a great story about friendship. Right off the bat, the made-up language of Boborp (easily deciphered through English similarities and context) is fun and goofy, and sure to give slightly older littles a chuckle. There is also the great way that the text compares the Boborpian (?) way of friendship with ours (such as biting and hitting being an acceptable method of fighting to aliens, but it is certainly not here on Earth), essentially providing some basic friendship do’s and don’ts. The length is just fine for smaller readers, and JJ loved the brightly-colored extraterrestrials and their world. This one is fantastic for little fans of monsters or aliens, or anyone who could use a good primer about friendship and sharing. Baby Bookworm approved!

Pig The Pug (Aaron Blabey)

Hello, everyone! Today, we read Pig The Pug by Aaron Blabey, a morality tale about a selfish little pug being taught a lesson in sharing.

Pig is a pug, and a very greedy one at that. He does not care to share anything, not his toys nor his food. When a friendly dachshund named Trevor says that they might have more fun sharing, Pig throws a huge tantrum and piles all his toys into a mountain, climbing on top and declaring his ownership of them. But uh-oh; that pile seems a bit wobbly… 

I had some mixed feelings on this one. While I loved the Seussian rhyme scheme and the just rewards for the sweet pup Trevor, there was a sense of dissatisfaction for the way Pig’s story turns out. Namely, he falls out of a window. I’m not joking: a full page spread is dedicated to the sight of Pig’s chubby little body plummeting upside-down from a second story window. What results is him being put in a full-body cast and therefore forced to share his toys with Trevor while Pig, humbled, looks on meekly. While this is the kind of ending that can be very entertaining to slightly older children who can better understand that Pig’s hubris is what led to his comeuppance, younger bookworms may not make the connection as easily. And because Pig doesn’t really learn a lesson, other than “don’t play near open windows,” it’s maybe not the best book about sharing for the babies (even JJ seemed a bit underwhelmed). Still, there were some fun and goofy illustrations, and the length was fine, so maybe give this one a try for older readers, and overall, we’ll call it Baby Bookworm approved (with an asterisk).