Bear was there by Sally Anne Garland
New Frontier Publishing, 2020. ISBN: 9781925594935.
(Age: 3+) When Mouse is born, mother looks after him, showing him how to survive in the forest, warning him of things to avoid.
She shows him the flowers, the tall grass and insects. He feels the breezes and the sun's warmth, but always she reminds him of the danger lurking. When he sees the shadow of Bear in the distance, he rushes back to their home in the nook of the tree. But eventually he grows and must go off to make his own home. He plays in the grass and suddenly Bear is there. But he seems harmless as he only looks and then pads away. Mouse thinks that maybe he is not as scary as he thought.
Winter approaches with its strong winds and icy storm.
Bear crashes through the cold winds to his shelter and Mouse follows. Bear curls up to sleep for the winter, and Mouse curls up near his head, safe and loved.
A story of overcoming your fears, of testing stories told you as a child, this charming tale of the bond between two totally different animals will appeal to younger readers.
While reminding children that there are concerning things to be aware of in their environment, it also tells them to be open to friendship that is offered.
The soft illustrations will charm younger readers, looking for the detail in the background of each page and the way Garland has drawn the bear's fur and the mouse's coat. Teacher's notes are available. Themes: Bears, Mice, Trust, Love, Friendship.