Inspiring Young Readers

posted on 19 Apr 2024

Bear and Bird: The Adventure and other stories by JARVIS

My five year old grandson and I are already very fond of this pair of friends whose easy relationship is sometimes tested  We smiled to see the two of them standing on top of a mountain with Bear happily looking out from the front cover and Bird balancing on one leg as he gazed to the side through a pink telescope. Where could they be going on the promised adventure? Once again, we were treated to four more entertaining episodes with clear life lessons to be learned. We decided to write about the two that we enjoyed the most

The Hole

Whatever the age of the reader, we all know that something forbidden will exude endless fascination! When the pals are out walking and talking they come across a ‘ DO NOT GO IN THE HOLE’ sign and agree that they will definitely obey the instruction. My grandson looked across at me and grinned: “I bet they will fall in it by accident’”! As they carry on having fun cloud spotting, which is one of their favourite pastimes, each of them imagines that the other one will be tempted back to the forbidden hole. When they lose sight of one another, both are equally concerned about an accident. The ever resourceful Bird shouts down and imagines that Bear is responding, so finds a long stick to help him to escape. As she leans further into the deep hole we spotted all the interesting underground detritus including a possible diamond! When the inevitable happens, it is Bear that rescues her with the stick. As ever, the mishap reveals that the pair can’t always predict what the other one might do and an overwhelming concern for one another. We talked about how it was important to help someone in a sticky situation, “ But only if it was a good friend” suggested my grandson.

The Mole

At the end of the previous story we noticed a mole wearing glasses and a red fez who was also emerging from the dreaded hole. In this story we get to know this intriguing new character and find that he is very good at telling jokes, which Bear loves. Bird pretends to find them funny but is underwhelmed. When she is invited to tell one too she has a go but we agreed that she wasn’t much good! The illustrations convey the growing awkwardness as Mole continues to make Bear laugh uproariously and Bird looks on with dismay:

‘It’s Bear and Bird.

It’s always been Bear and Bird. Not Bear

and Bird and Mole.’

We laughed at jealous Bird’s attempts at ‘very rude and peculiar behaviour’ which doesn’t have the desired effect as Mole thinks it is hilarious. It turns out that Bird has quite a knack for doing funny impressions and silly songs so all turns out well. Three is a crowd so Bear and Bird have a bit of a chat about the misunderstanding and their friendship is firmer than ever.

We strongly recommend this delightfully illustrated book which is now available from Walker Books. You can get a copy from your local independent bookshop who will be happy to order it for you if they don’t have a copy on their shelves.


Karen Argent

April 2024