Bear and Hamster are quite happy in their home until Bear spots an advert which makes him wonder whether his bed is bouncy enough. Having spent a sleepless night worrying about this, Bear invites Sneaky Beak- a very enthusiastic and persuasive salesman- into their home. This leads to a series of ‘essential’ purchases. Hamster is not impressed by these changes and things come to a head when Hamster gets left behind as Sneaky Beak sells Bear a holiday in space. Alone in the rocket, Bear has time to think and reflect on what is really important in his life.
This story offers a light-hearted look at the way we are always being told that we need the latest, the newest, the biggest, the best…As Sneaky Beak manipulates Bear into making his purchases, it is easy to start conversations about advertising and how it can lead to buying things we don’t really need - or want. At the end of the story, the two friends decide to recycle all their unwanted purchases, offering them to others, sending another important message.
Hamster and Bear’s friendship is seriously tested by Bear’s buying as the new bed leaves no room for anything else, including Hamster’s bed! The other purchases are equally unpopular, but Bear ultimately realises what is important in his life- what really matters to him- and what makes him happiest of all is Hamster. There are some things that money just can’t buy!
The illustrations are joyous, matching Tracey’s lively text perfectly. Each picture is full of humour and detail. Bear and Hamster’s harmonious relationship is reflected in their matching chairs and tea cups, the umbrellas in the stand by the door, the pictures lining the stairs… The bounce-test-bunnies are wonderful, but my favourite picture is of Bear in his bath hat! It is a joy to linger over each spread.
Perfect for home and school, ‘Sneaky Beak’ is everything we have come to expect from the wonderful Tracey Corderoy and her amazing story telling skills. It’s another hit!
Sneaky Beak Tracey Corderoy, illustrated by Tony Neal
Little Tiger ISBN:978-1788813969