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A Big Friendship Story

Big Bear and Little Fish written by Sandra Nickel and illustrated by Il Sung Na, published by Carolrhoda Books.

Children will relate and sympathize with Bear who has his heart set on winning a giant teddy bear only to win a prize that is much, much smaller.

In Big Bear and Little Fish, Sandra Nickel brilliantly recounts a story of friendship that becomes bigger than either Bear or Fish could have imagined.

But it doesn't start off so easily. At first, Big Bear only sees the differences between himself and Little Fish. Because of those differences, he believes that Little Fish shouldn't live with him anymore. And so, he confronts Little Fish and points out what he perceives as problematic: she's small, she has a tail, she doesn't eat the same food as Big Bear, etc... Very cleverly, however, Little Fish points out that they have, in fact, many similarities. And those, I will let you discover in this delightful book.

Il Sung Na's art further adds to the enjoyment of these two characters. Readers will immediately enjoy the end papers that depict Big Bear and Little Fish in all sorts of ways. The cool color palette evokes bear's hesitant emotions toward Little Fish until the final spread bursts with warm, inviting colors.

Imagine It!

Alone, with a friend, or in a group, brainstorm pairs of animals who, at first, may seem like unlikely friends.

Then, make a list of all the similarities the pairs actually share!

Imagine what activities they could do together. What would that look like? Remember, just because Fish swims instead of walks, she still goes for a walk with Bear.

Write or draw a picture of the pair playing a game or going on an outing. Do this for all the pairs of animals.

Now, imagine all the animals together in one group. Look at all the lists and find something they would all enjoy doing together.

Imagine how much fun they would have!

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