Bear and Bee: Too Busy by Sergio Ruzzier

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Bear and Bee: Too Busy by Sergio Ruzzier

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Rachael Spencer
Reviewed by Rachael Spencer
Summary: Bear and Bee are friends, but Bee is always so busy! Will they ever get to spend time together? This book uses very simple language and bold, bright colours along the way as we find out why it's always better to do things with our friends.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 48 Date: April 2014
Publisher: Hyperion
ISBN: 978-1423159612

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Bear is trying to do lots of fun things, but they'd all be much more fun if only his friend, Bee, would join in. Bee, however, has other ideas and is just too busy to roll down hills or climb up trees. When Bee is finished and wants to play with Bear, Bear is trying to sleep!

I had slightly higher expectations of this book than it delivered, maybe because it has praise by Maurice Sendak on the front cover, and any association with the man behind Where The Wild Things Are is always going to give to you high hopes. Sadly, it didn't live up to them for me, being quite old fashioned in both design and text. It's a tried and tested theme however, the idea that things are more fun if you do them with your friends, and that's always a nice idea to explore with children. I liked its repetition too, the way in which the same things happen over and over, which set up the premise nicely and gave a more rewarding ending to the book.

It would have been nice to have a little more text in this story, and it felt a little caught in limbo between a book for very young readers and slightly older preschoolers. That being said, it was popular with my son who is a bit picky about the books we read, so maybe I am being a bit harsh and the reason it feels a little old fashioned to me is simply that 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'! It's a nice idea for a story, which is very simply told and this could work one way or the other dependant upon your taste.

This particular hardback edition is a nice size, easy enough for small hands to look at without being swamped by a huge book, and maybe this is where the lack of text comes into it because it's a book that preschoolers can look at quite happily without particularly needing to read the whole story. The pictures are nice and bright, and they seem to captivate children, and the fact that it has a happy ending for both Bear and Bee definitely made my three-year-old very happy whilst reinforcing the idea that things are much better with your friends. Overall, it may not be the most exciting of books, but I can see it being a staple in the local library, and I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt if my son enjoyed it; after all, it probably counts more what he thinks than me!

If it's books about bears that tickle your fancy, I think it would be well worth your time checking out Sneezy Bear by Neil Griffiths and Janette Louden. We couldn't help but think of Bear and Bird by Gwen Millward.

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Buy Bear and Bee: Too Busy by Sergio Ruzzier at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Bear and Bee: Too Busy by Sergio Ruzzier at


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