Horvath, D. (2009). Just Like Bossy Bear. New York: Hyperion Books.
Turtle is Bossy Bear’s best friend. And it would seem that Turtle is picking up a certain one of his best friend’s habits: Being bossy (although Bossy Turtle doesn’t have nearly as nice a ring to it). When Bossy Bear realizes this, he must decide how he can help his friend be nicer to the other animals in their community.
While the story is didactic, the illustrations are simple and humorous, providing some ‘sugar’ to help the medicine go down. The illustrations feel similar to the sytle of Mo Willems’s Elephant and Piggie books . Horvath makes good use of color. My favorite page is:
Children will probably love the crown and cape that Bossy Bear wears. This is also a good book to show how the words people say and the expression on their face don’t always match—Bossy Bear gives some orders, but their very positive commands, like to “have a great trip!!!” Students can also see how the various commands affect the animals being ordered about, showing the power of words and why it’s important to choose words carefully.
Activities to Do with the Book:
This is an excellent book to share with big brothers or sisters and best friends to demonstrate how younger children often model their behavior off of how they see their siblings and friends behave.
Although not directly present in the book, a teacher or parent could also discuss the important of saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and being kind after sharing this book.
“Bossy Bear is very bossy.”
“Turtle wants to be just like Bossy Bear.”
“Then Bossy Bear had an idea. He would set a good example.”