Book review: Horrible Bear! 5 out of 5 stars #bookaday

Horrible Bear! book coverwritten by Ame Dyckman; illustrated by Zachariah OHora
Picture book
Interest level: Pre-K through 3
Reading level: 1.9
5 out of 5 stars

This is a delightful picture book that can be used to teach some life lessons to young children. A young girl, with a delightful mass of red curls, flies her kite into a cave, where it comes to rest right on top of sleeping Bear. When Bear accidentally rolls over and breaks the kite, the girls calls him a “Horrible Bear!” and stomps home, angry that her kite has been destroyed.

It is at this point in the story that Amy Dyckman creatively shows the reader how anger, and how we manage it, can affect other people. Bear doesn’t like being called “horrible” so he gets angry and comes up with a horrible way to get the girl back. This is a good reminder that we need to be careful about the labels we put on other people, because they sometimes start to believe them! We also see how both the girl and the bear ruin a picnic that a couple are trying to enjoy. And finally, the girl’s anger ends up breaking something else that is important to her, making her realize that accidents can happen.

Dyckman does an incredible job navigating all the different aspects of anger, and she does an equally adept job of resolving the situation between the girl and Bear. This is an exceptionally well-told story, and the illustrations are simple, yet emotionally expressive. Be sure to check out the endpapers and the hidden cover!

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