Bearly Learning about Water, by Mary Esparza-Vela, with art by Alexander Morris, is a story common to siblings. One bear cub wants to do one thing and the other cub doesn’t want to. Molly takes the lead wanting to teach her brother Fritz to fish. However, he doesn’t like water. She makes him wait while she enjoys splashing in the river. She knows they need to eat, so she takes him berry picking and honey grubbing, in spite of his whining. If Molly could just get Fritz into the water, and teach him to fish, then their food problem would be solved.
After gorging themselves on berries and honey, Molly plays with a squirrel for a while as Fritz naps; then she naps, too. He wakes up while she’s still napping and wants more food. He sees a cottage where he hopes to get more food. Instead of food, he finds a tub of bath water when he climbs in an open window. He carefully tests the water and, lo and behold, he likes it. Molly finds Fritz singing loudly and playing in the water, so she has to wait for him. Now that he likes water, her plan to teach him to fish can be realized.
Will Fritz get into trouble (like Goldilocks) for using someone’s bath water? We don’t know, but this story gives parents and teachers an opportunity to talk about how they feel about trying new things, getting along with siblings, problem solving, and also what trouble they might get into if they sneak into someone’s house or use someone’s things uninvited.
The artwork by Alexander Morris is fun and colorful. The cubs are in pastel colors: Molly is pink and Fritz is blue. Kids will easily relate to the cute cartoons, as they follow a day in the life of two bear cubs learning to forage for themselves. If Fritz continues to whine and get into trouble, Molly will have her hands full helping him learn to be self-sufficient!
Available from: http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com