A Visitor for Bear

By: Bonny Becker, Kady MacDonald Denton

Series: Bear and Mouse

Book Number: 1

Star Rating:



Spoiler Disclaimer


Bear is certain that he doesn't like visitors, so certain, in fact, that he has a "NO Visitors Allowed" sign on his door. When a small gray mouse taps on his door one morning, Bear immediately demands that he leave. All Bear wants to do is eat his breakfast in peace, but no matter what he does, the mouse keeps popping up in the most unlikely places until Bear finally agrees to let him stay for a visit and discover that having a friend can be nice after all. 


A Visitor for Bear is the first book in Bonny Becker's Bear and Mouse children's book series. Bear lives alone, which is what he prefers, and he even has a big "NO Visitors Allowed" sign on his door to let everyone know. One day, a little mouse, "small and gray and bright-eyed" shows up at his door. Bear promptly sends the mouse on his way, but the little guy just keeps popping up everywhere no matter what Bear does to try to keep him out. Exasperated, Bear finally agrees to let the mouse stay for tea if he leaves right after, but Bear is surprised to find a nice companion. When teatime is over and the mouse voluntarily starts to leave as agreed, Bear finally realizes it's actually nice having a friend.

Depending on your point of view, this might be a cute and humorous book that can teach kids about the importance of friendship and about not giving up on someone just because they're grumpy or unfriendly. Bear learns how nice it is to have someone around who appreciates him and the mouse seems to just eagerly want to make friends and won't give up until he does. Kady MacDonald Denton's illustrations nicely complement the story. They're done is soft pastel shades that give it a calming feel.

However, all that said, something about the story didn't entirely sit well with me. At first, I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but after reading a few negative reviews of the book, I finally figured out what it was. As an introvert, who appreciates strong boundaries and respect for personal space, mouse repeatedly going against Bear's clearly expressed wishes came off as a bit disrespectful to me and perhaps not the kind of behavior we should be teaching our kids. Mouse also keeps sneaking into the house after saying he won't, which is essentially lying. While being persistent can be great with regards to certain things and a wonderful lesson for kids under the right circumstances, there are times when it can be taken to a level where it's no longer good but simply annoying. Unfortunately for me, I felt like mouse's actions fell more toward the latter, but he ended up rewarded for it anyway, while poor beleaguered Bear simply gives in. Sure he gets a friend out of it, but what kind of friendship can you have with someone who doesn't show respect for your personal space? I know I'm very much in the minority on this, as the high ratings at both GoodReads and Amazon clearly demonstrate that a lot of other kids and parents have found humor and enjoyment within its pages. For me, though, A Visitor for Bear was simply an okay read with reservations. I like children's books about friendships, but I think it could have been written differently so as to not come off seeming like it's somehow wrong to like a solitary life and simultaneously okay to violate someone's clearly expressed "no" if everything turns out all right in the end. That said, I might still be open to checking out the other books in the series at some point.


Bonny Becker

Kady MacDonald Denton