Let's Scare Bear

by Yuko Katakawa

Just as Mouse, Fox, Spider, and Snake have settled down to enjoy a pot of tea and... read more

Just as Mouse, Fox, Spider, and Snake have settled down to enjoy a pot of tea and a bite of manju cake, they’re disrupted by a great thumping sound. Watching Bear march by with a scowl on his face, the four friends decide to have a bit of fun by scaring him. But nothing seems to work. Bear’s teeth are more frightful than Fox’s. He’s strong enough to break through Spider’s web and Snake’s strong grip. Mouse’s “boo” is only a squeak to Bear’s ears. Before retreating, Bear announces slyly that the only thing he fears is manju cake. Delighted with their luck, the four friends gather some manju and toss it into his cave, but when Bear emerges licking his lips, they know they’ve been tricked. Next time, they decide, they’ll just share their treat with Bear. Based on a classic Japanese rakugo story, this rendition stands out for its good-natured fun, sense of friendly competition, and the many small, humorous details in the illustrations. Don’t miss the words woven into Spider’s web! (Ages 3–7)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2020

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