“This friendship-not-fear tale is a natural for storytime or laptime.”

A great review of Bear and Bee on the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books:

Hungry little Bear would love some honey, which he’s kindly being offered, but he’s afraid of upsetting the dangerous bees. He thinks he knows what bees are: they are “terrible monsters. They are big and they have large teeth, and they have sharp claws, and they never share their honey!” The kindly critter offering honey points out that Bear is the one who’s big, with large teeth and sharp claws (“Poor me! I am a bee!” cries Bear), and then reveals himself to be an actual bee—who does indeed share his honey. Oversized fears are something kids can definitely relate to, and the book gently and tacitly addresses the topic while making an excellent layered joke that’s easily within youngsters’ grasp. They’ll enjoy knowing from the start what silly Bear doesn’t, and his moment of wrong-headed self-identification is preschool comedy gold. Ruzzier’s cozily uneven, very handmade lines are filled with opaque planes of soft digital color over full-bleed backgrounds to make a simple but warmly welcoming landscape. As usual, he has some subtle otherworldly touches (the botanicals are a little Seussian, and the bear’s imagined bee is pretty Martian), but those elements are counterpointed by the everydayness of both characters’ footwear (Bear in simple sandals, Bee in gym shoes) and their childlike gestures (Bee expressively deploys all four arms). This friendship-not-fear tale is a natural for storytime or laptime, especially if followed up by a nice honey-touched snack.

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