by Ryan O’Connor
Bobby the Bear wakes from his afternoon nap, stretches, and begins his walk to the lake to catch his dinner. Along the way, he meets his friend Mark the Owl, who is hunting for food for his family. Resuming his walk to the lake, Bobby finds some tulips that he wants to take back to decorate his cave. In the meadow, he meets his friends Joe and Phyllis Butterfly, known to everyone as Mr. and Mrs. Butterfly. Bobby asks them to join him on his sojourn, but they are cleaning their home and can’t go.
Bobby builds a fire to cook the fish that he catches, but Fred the Fox distracts him, and he loses the fish. Additional friends come by to help Bobby look for his missing dinner. Finally, they see Peter the Panther about to enjoy a bite of fresh fish. Remorseful, Peter explains to Bobby that he is sorry that he took the fish. He did it because he couldn’t catch one of his own. Bobby explains kindly that he would have shared with Peter if the panther had asked because beings should be honest with one another and friends help one another. Ultimately, the friends share a picnic dinner.
Some readers of a more sensitive nature may wonder about Bobby’s taking the tulips or sympathize with the caught fish. Overall, though, the moral of the story is well presented. Beautiful earth tone illustrations by Xiang Manke enrich this tale that combines lessons from Winnie the Pooh, The Sword in the Stone, Charlotte’s Web, and many other classic stories about the importance of honesty, loyalty, and friendship. The Stone Soup lesson about cooperating as a group to provide enough for everyone is also a major theme in this charming children’s story.
Review Link – Bobby the Bear! and His Missing Dinner