Published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers on August 24, 2021
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What do you do with a bear who won’t leave? When a bear comes to stay, no one expects him to stay too long! But his arrival changes everything, from sleeping to shopping to hanging out with friends. If even dinosaurs and math problems can’t drive him away, what are you supposed to do?
Featuring quirky, energetic illustrations, this amusing tale suggests we can learn to live with even the most unbearable company.
Do you like bears? If yes, this is not a book a for you. Bear With Me is a book about a bear who is not wanted and will not leave. Not if you ask nicely. Not even if you ask meanly. Wherever you go, bear he is. He’s stinky, annoying, and always in the way. But…you know…eh…maybe not all that bad.
Bear With Me is Italian author Noemi Vola’s North American debut and it’s a silly, whimsical dive into the absurd that just might subtly make readers think about the “bears” in their life that they can’t get rid of. It’s not explicit whether or not Vola has mental health issues like anxiety or depression in mind, but it sure puts off those vibes. There’s no overt message, though, and it’s not heavy-handed. The story’s just for fun. It’s sure to make kids laugh and is perfect for being read aloud.
One word of caution—and some might find this silly and other very relevant, depending on the type of parent you are: the kid in the book does call the bear some bad names. You know: ugly, fat, naughty…maybe not the kind of words you want your kids to hear or think about using toward another person. Especially since the jump from the fictional “this bear won’t leave me alone” to the non-fictional “this person won’t leave me alone” isn’t a big jump. That’s my main concern in the book and it’s not something I personally would read to my kids because of that, at least until they’re old enough to understand how those words could hurt other people.
Vola’s illustrations are in contrasting black and white, with just a hint of blues here and there. It’s a minimalistic style that’s still captivating and fun. It’s worth checking out as a goofy and fun read.