Bear & Duck are Friends

Judges Comments

Perfectly pitched to young readers, this gentle story about friendship creates opportunities to discuss fears, challenges and being open to new experiences. The highly accessible text is thoughtfully presented in different ways, with changing size and direction adding interest. The delightful illustrations show movement of the characters and perfectly reflect the text, offering sequences of action and moments to pause and reflect. Rhyming phrases and simple sentences blend seamlessly, with occasional alliteration and a smattering of more complex vocabulary. There is a lovely role reversal in that the bigger, stronger animal is fearful, thus opening the door to important conversations about stereotypes. The satisfying resolution reveals the two friends readying themselves for the next challenge.

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