Reading/Interest Level: Preschool, Primary
Author: Duncan Beedie
Publisher: Little Bee Books
Bear doesn’t mean to stare! He’s just so curious and wants to take a good look at everybody and everything. But he slowly discovers that just staring at others can make them feel uncomfortable, annoyed, and even angry. By a happy bit of happenstance, Bear ends up staring at a frog who stares right back with big googly eyes. The frog explains that staring at others is not considered nice and that, instead, Bear should say smile and even try to say hello. Bear puts the frogs advice into practice and makes many new friends among the other woodland creatures.
Duncan Beedie’s picture book makes the lessons of not staring at others into a fun and inventive story. The wording is sparse and to the point. Although a didactic tale of manners, the story never feels overly preachy. And the pictures complement the subject matter beautifully. The pictures aid the audience in understanding that staring can be silly and even rude, particularly in the first few pages when Bear stares directly at the audience. The images are vibrant and approachable and will remind readers of Jon Klassen’s illustrations. A good selection for younger audiences in learning the ins and outs of manners and etiquette.