“ Author: Jez Alborough / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 06 December 2004 / Genre: Picture Books / Publisher: Walker Books Ltd / Title: My Friend Bear / ISBN 13: 9781844284795 / ISBN 10: 1844284795 „
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My two young sons aged 3 and 4 got this book as part of a set last Christmas and has already become a firm favourite on a bedtime. There are two books in the series as far as I'm aware and both feature a large bear called 'bear' and a little boy called Eddie and their teddy bears. Both Bear and Eddie are wandering around the woods sad as they have both lost their teddies somewhere. Bear spots Eddie's ted and assumes it's his but it's somehow shrunk and gets upset that the ted will get lost in his giant size bed. Meanwhile Eddie spots the Bears large ted and wonders how they will both squeeze into his little bed. The Bear wishes he had someone to talk to then his ted starts talking back...or so he thinks! Turns out Eddie is hiding behind the big ted and tells Bear he has a friend in him. It's a fab rhyming story with ripples of humour and I'm always so happy when the boys choose it for bedtime
'My friend bear' is another gentle rib tickling creation of Jez Alborough. This book is the second in a series of books about Eddy and his teddy. It is not necessary to hvae read the prequel to this book but of course it helps as you find out how Eddy and the bear first meet which in my opinion leaves a mark on how you perceive someone there after - first impressions count! The book is dedicated to 'friendship which tells you an awful lot about teh story without reading on and sends that warm fuzzy feeling to the ends of your fingers and toes.
The story itself is in rhyme, so providing an upbeat rhythm and pushing you forward through the story with some excitement. The rhythm serves to create enjoyment and brings life to the content, which in itself is fun and entertaining. The rhythm and rhyme also allows the child listening to interact with the story, having heard it only a few times my son was able to complete the endings of lines, he is not yet two.
The content of the story is based around friendship and how first impressions aren't always right. The first story if you have read it is about the first time Eddy and the bear meet, they are both scared of each ofther. In this story Eddy and the bear meet again and they find thay have more in common than they first realised, They both have a teddy, with only the size of the teddy being at all different, and they are both lonely and wating someone to talk to. Eddy is walking in the woods when he comes across a large teddy, the one that belongs to the bear. He then hears the Baer looking for his teddy and as he is scared he hides behind the bears teddy. The bear is sad and tells his teddy how lonely he is and that he wishes he could talk, to which Eddy answers 'please don't cry, I'm all on my own just like you, with no-one to talk to and nothing to do, I'm a little bit lonely too you see, if you want you can talk to me.' Now the bear is not wawre that Eddy is hiding behind his tedy and thinks that his teddy is talking to him. The bear and Eddy have a funny little conversation, where Eddy thinks he has a talking teddy, until he realises it is Eddy when he picks up his bear. they both hold tight onto their teddies for comfort as they are afraid, until the silence is broken by a little laugh! Together they have a giggle that teh bear thought he had a talking teddy, and by the end of teh story they are friends and no longer lonely or sad. The story ends on a happy note, bear and Eddy are friends and Eddy promises to visit the bear again soon.
Once again in this story children are shown how their teddies can bring comfort when they are scared or worried about something. It perhaps makes you wonder whether Eddie was actually dreaming about the bear and was in his bed all along? It also shows you how you can be friends with someone you never thought you would be friends with. The ending is a happy one and makes you smile at the thought of this blossoming friendship.
I would recommend this book for children aged 2years plus, boys or girls. It is published by Walker books and its RRP is £5.99.