21 June 2010

Bear and Chook by the Sea

by Lisa Shanahan, Illustrated by Emma Quay

Hachette Children's Books. Children's Picture Book, Australian. Softcover rrp $16.99

Bear and Chook by the Sea is a story of friendship between two unlikely friends. Bear is an adventurous dreamer, eager to try new things. Chook is contented to stay-at-home where it’s comfortable and safe.

But one morning a breeze blows in ‘as warm as honey toast’. Bear smells a holiday and with Chook tagging reluctantly behind, heads for the sea. Chook is frightened of every little noise – owls, frogs, trains and even a stone - but is willing to trust good friend Bear.

At the beach Chook gradually begins to enjoy the holiday after all. When it is time to leave, Bear decides to have a swim. An enormous wave rolls and tumbles him. “I want to go home! wailed Bear.” Now it is Chook who leads, comforting a nervous Bear.

This is a book of glorious yellows and blues. The blue of the ocean, the sky and the tinge to bear’s fur. The yellow of chook, the sand and the sun coming up over the ocean and of course, honey toast. Emma Quay equally captures the fun of the beach frolic, the fear of Chook’s journey to the sea and Bear’s frightened return home.

A follow-on to the popular Bear and Chook, Bear and Chook by the Sea was recently shortlisted in the Children’s Book Council Book of the Year Awards 2010 for Best Picture Book.


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