Rating: Significant Shortcomings
Reading/Interest Level: Preschool
Author: Tim Beiser
Illustrator: Bill Slavin
Publisher: Tundra Books
When bad weather keeps Hare and Bear cooped inside during the summer, Hare can't stop whining about everything that is going wrong for him. Bear tries to be understanding of Hare's frustration, but when the complaining continues about the weather, Hare hurting his toe, and even Bear's friendship, Bear decides to teach Hare a lesson about being grateful for what he has. Bear shows him an earthworm and explains how even though things might not be going the way that Hare wants it, at least he doesn't have a life like an earthworm, leaving Hare and Bear feeling better, but the Worm with hurt feelings.
There, There seems well-meaning, but misses the mark in several instances. The illustrations can sometimes be charming, but are much rougher and more unfriendly than most children's books are. The message is also off-putting: the idea of being grateful for what you have is a valuable lesson, but the presentation of this lesson leaves a lot to be desired as the earthworm's feelings are hurt by the comparison between their lives. Rather than looking down on someone else to learn this lesson, Bear and Hare could have learned gratitude through another experience. The rhymes feel forced at times and do not have a natural rhythm. Readers who are interested in animals or gratitude should search elsewhere for their ideal story.