Dog and Bear: Two's Company

Book review by
Patricia Tauzer, Common Sense Media
Dog and Bear: Two's Company Book Poster Image
Three quick, cute tales ideal for young readers.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

Dog and Bear are friends, kind and sensitive to each other's feelings.

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this book, the second in this series, contains three short tales of friendship starring a dachshund named Dog and a Teddy Bear named Bear. It's a fun read and contains nothing inappropriate for young readers.

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What's the story?

Three short stories ("Ice Cream," "Happy Birthday, Bear!" and "Sweet Dreams") reveal the ups and downs of the friendship between a dachshund named Dog and a Teddy bear named Bear, and show just what makes it so special.

Is it any good?

While Dog is more boisterous and emotional, Bear is quieter, wiser, and a bit more parental; together they make a great team and have the kind of friendship most of us admire. When Dog threatens to run away because he is angry, Bear stands aside, even offering his help in a quiet, non-judgmental way. That is, until the very last moment, when he offers ice cream, which as most of us know can be a great healer of hurt feelings.

This, and both of the other two stories in DOG AND BEAR: TWO'S COMPANY, are told in language that is lively when read aloud yet easy enough for a beginning reader to tackle. With their thick black outlines and gold-toned primary colors, the illustrations are appealing, and charming in their warm simplicity. The first book in this series, Dog and Bear: Two Friends, Three Stories, won the 2007 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award. Most of Laura Vaccaro Seeger's other books also have won various awards. She has also created award-winning TV animation, and it's easy to see that her background in graphic design has influenced her work in a very positive way.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Dog and Bear's friendship, and the issues between them. Why do you think Dog wanted to run away? Have you ever felt angry enough to pack and leave home? Why didn't Bear argue with Dog? Why did he wait awhile to offer the ice cream? How did that help? What happened when Dog tried to celebrate Bear's birthday? Bear still seems happy in the end. How come? What would you have felt if you were Dog? or Bear? How can you tell that Dog and Bear are friends? What kinds of things do they do for each other?

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