Reading/Interest Level: Preschool, Primary
Author: Diane and Christyan Fox
Illustrator: Diane and Christyan Fox
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Lucy has been learning everything she can about dogs. Now that the time has finally come for her to have her own dog, she has trouble finding one—until she finds Bear. He says that he would love to be her dog, and they live happily doing all the things a girl and her dog do, like walking the garden, eating, sleeping and playing. But then winter comes, and Bear sleeps for months, prompting a fight with Lucy about what is expected of her dog. Eventually, the two resolve their differences and settle back into life together.
The authors do a great job of making this book both funny and sweet. While it is obvious to the readers that Bear is not a dog, it is just as obvious that Lucy is bursting with love and excitement over having her pet. The fact that Bear is a bear also lends some humor to Bear doing all the typical dog activities. This makes the book silly in a way that many preschoolers would enjoy, as long as they are old enough to not be confused by a bear being called a dog. For those younger readers, multiple simple illustrations per page help them follow along with the words and keep the reader’s focus on what is happening between Lucy and Bear.