Bears Don’t Cry!
Emma Chichester Clark
32pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99
George is no ordinary bear. He lives with a little girl called Clementine and her mother, who have taught him to read! There was nothing he liked more than to sit in the garden and read once he’d helped out around the house because, next to reading, being useful was his favourite thing to do.
One day, when George finishes his book early and knows it will be a long time before Clementine and her mother return home, he decides to go the library by himself. At first it’s exciting to stroll along the sunny street. But poor George’s trip soon ends in disaster because not everyone can cope with seeing a large brown bear walking down the street, and, to make things worse, his library book is ruined. Do bears really cry? Can anyone help George to feel better when his feelings are hurt?
This is a heart-warming story for young readers who probably wouldn’t blink if they saw a bear walking down the street and they certainly wouldn’t carry on like the townspeople. But it is also a timely reminder that some of the things that we say and do can hurt other’s feelings, even if that is not our intention, and so we need to think before we speak or act and be sensitive to the feelings of those around us. For little ones who are so egocentric this is something they have to learn and so this, apart from being just a grand read-together, is a great discussion starter.