Writer Ame Dyckman and illustrator Zachariah OHora earned numerous awards and accolades (not to mention grins and giggles) with their first collaboration, last year’s Wolfie the Bunny. Now the two pair up again in a story about disappointment, revenge and the importance of never jumping to conclusions.
A girl is happily flying her kite when—snap!—the string breaks and the kite flies right into a bear’s cave, where that hibernating bear rolls over and—crunch!—destroys it. “Horrible bear!” the girl shouts. The bear knows it was just an accident . . . but maybe he should try to live up to her horrible opinion of him after all. Is it too late for the pair to overcome their differences and—gasp!—become friends?
Dyckman’s well-paced text perfectly captures the kinds of childhood disappointments that can quickly blow up into big-time dramas, and she allows kids to come to their own conclusions about the moral of the story. But what really steals the show are OHora’s illustrations, which exuberantly mirror the mood of Dyckman’s prose and capture the many similarities between the red-haired girl and the orange-furred bear. Every element of the book—right down to the endpapers and boards—contributes meaning and whimsy to the story. It’s a safe bet that a gleeful chorus of “Horrible bear!” will be a common storytime refrain for a long time to come.