The ring bear ISBN: 9780972922517
Slater, David Michael and Brooks, S.G.
Published by Flashlight Press, 2004
A certain amount of sophistication is needed to cope with the character changes in this charming picture book. Westley and him mom play pirates - Westley the Wicked and Mom the Mean, 'the most dreaded pair of pirates on the seven seas'. They are close and loving, and mom's friend Stan is suffered to visit occasionally. But when mom tells Westley that she and Stan are getting married, and that they want him to be ring bearer, Westley misunderstands and thinks she want him to be a bear. So he turns himself into one. As his behaviour gets worse, his paws and hair grow until he really looks like a bear - to himself at least. He spends lots of time hiding in his 'cave' thinking of ways to spoil the wedding. When, on the wedding day, mom susses the problem, she tells Westley she loves him 'more than anything in the world', and Stan makes things better by putting on an eye patch and becoming a fellow pirate. Excellent on the inner turmoil suffered by children when a life-changing event comes along. The illustrations are irresistible, with Westley changing from boy to bear and unsure himself as to how he feels. This American production is available in the UK from Gazelle (email: (Tel: 01524 68765).
Age: 5+