Have a youngster unwilling to bathe? You may just want to grab a copy of Big Smelly Bear and make the situation, dare I say, bearable? Big Smelly Bear doesn’t like to brush or wash. The other animals run from him when they smell him coming. In fact the only thing hanging around Big Smelly Bear are the flies. Big Smelly Bear doesn’t mind, though he does sometimes think it might be nice to have a friend.
One day Big Smelly Bear develops a horrible itch in the middle of his backs.
He tries to scratch his back with his paw but cannot reach the itch.
Big Smelly Bear proceeds in making several more attempts using different methods like a tree branch to satisfy his itch but still finds no relief. Suddenly when all seems hopeless he hears a voice from above in the tree. It’s another bear, Big Fluffy Bear who would gladly scratch his back if only he wasn’t so smelly.
Big Fluffy Bear asks Big Smelly Bear why he doesn’t take a bath and then he wouldn’t itch or smell. Big Smelly Bear simply replies “Because I don’t need a bath.”
A “Yes you do”, “No I don’t” type argument ensues next between the two bears. Finally Big Smelly Bear gives a sigh of defeat and grumpily he stomps off down the hill towards the pond. When Big Smelly Bear returns, Big Fluffy Bear rewards him by scratching his back and telling him how clean he smells. Big Smelly Bear happily announces that his itch is gone and thanks Big Fluffy Bear. He even returns Big Fluffy Bear’s kind gesture and scratches her back.
Big Smelly Bear then tells Big Fluffy Bear that he is not going to take any more baths and Big Fluffy Bear just smiles as the two bears have a little bear hug.
The story concludes with the reader being told that Big Smelly Bear liked Big Fluffy Bear very much and though he told her he would never bathe again, late at night he could be found down at the pond. Could the reader guess what he was doing?
What a fun story. Children will easily identify with Big Smelly Bear’s stubbornness when it comes to bathing. They also will be greatly amused by his change of heart when he meets Big Fluffy Bear and a friendship develops. The illustrations are warm, bright and friendly. Teckentrup’s style and brush technique are very reminiscent of Eric Carle work and equals his artistic skill in presenting inviting illustrations for young readers.
Give it a try next time you child becomes “unbearable” at bath time.
Check the WRL catalog for Big Smelly Bear.