A Friend for Bear
Steve Smallman and Caroline Pedler
When Little Bear wakes from her long winter sleep she cannot wait to embrace spring with all its exciting possibilities for running, flower smelling, tadpole tickling and twirling.
It’s the twirling that causes her to trip and fall flat. What she fell over wasn’t in fact the stone she thought but a tortoise.
Tortoise is excited to hear about Little Bear’s plans for roly-polying, tree climbing and making new friends but knows his short legs are no match for Little Bear’s.
Bear offers Tortoise a piggyback and away they speed, with the former anything but aware of potential new pals and sweet smelling flowers they pass, right up to the top of a small hill.
After a downhill tumble the two narrowly miss hurtling into a tree. Tortoise just wants to sit and allow his head to stop spinning.
Unmindful of Tortoise’s predicament Little Bear hoists Tortoise on her shoulders again dashing up the hill only to zoom straight back down to the water’s edge. Once again Little Bear doesn’t stop long enough to allow Tortoise to finish speaking and in they leap.
Poor Tortoise can take no more. With a waterlogged shell and worse, he spells it out to Little Bear. “You never stop to listen, or think, or make friends.”
At last Little Bear pays attention to what’s being said; friendship wins through and both creatures eagerly anticipate another day in each other’s company.
Caroline Pedler shows the cuddly bear cub, with Tortoise holding on for dear life, dashing through verdant meadows and sunlit woods alive with spring flora and fauna. Like Little Bear, little humans (and big ones) can all benefit from slowing down and enjoying being in the moment as Steve’s protagonists finally demonstrate in his telling.