Bear out there by Jacob Grant

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Bloomsbury, 2019. ISBN: 9781526607416.
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Themes: Friendship, Difference. Bear just loves being at home, where he can spend the day cleaning his house and then sit in an easy arm chair reading a book and having a nice cup of tea. His friend, Spider, on the other hand, loves the outdoors. He makes kites and needs to go out into the wind to fly them. But one day his kite is lost. He asks Bear to help him find the kite. Bear is not sure, he tells Spider that although he wants to help him find his kite, he does not like the forest. He does not like the dirty ground or the prickly plants and pesky bugs, but he still goes with Spider on his quest. The forest with its noise does not appeal to Bear and when it starts to rain he is even less happy. He determines that he will go back home to his easy chair and cup of tea, but seeing Spider's dejected look, decides that he will keep looking. When the sun comes out he finds the kite in the tree and all is well. Bear goes back home to his warm bath, easy chair and cup of tea, while Spider flies his kite, outside with Bear looking on. The two friends could not be more different: readers will see that being a bear and a spider are two quite different animals, and not only are they different in what they are, but also in their habits and what they like to do. But friendship overcomes their difference.
This charming tale, following on from the equally engrossing Bear's scare (2018) when the fastidious Bear finds a cobweb in his house, is accompanied by bold brightly coloured illustrations, pared back to the basics, but with enough difference to ensure readers will hunt out the detail as they turn to each new page with a different layout from the one before.
Fran Knight