Little Bear loves to rest in his chair—enough to keep others from using it. He decides to protect his property by posting numerous signs around the chair in the forest— informing all the forest animals of his desire that no one sit in his chair. Ryan the Lion (whose feet ache) disregards the signs and sits in the chair to relax. When Little bear happens upon Ryan the Lion enjoying his chair, he gets upset and tells the lion to get off of his chair. “Ryan the Lion was hurt, I mean it was only a chair. How could his best friend be so mean over a simple chair? Ryan the Lion ran off.”
There are no apologies from the lion for his blatant disregard of personal ownership. He knew whose chair it was, and signs were present.
Ryan the Lion is quite peeved and in front of a crowd of his forest friends, he tells all about Little Bear’s demand that he get off the chair. He successfully sways his empathetic audience into ostracizing Little Bear. Shunned, Little Bear sits in his chair and watches his forest friends play. Little Bear then reconsiders his selfishness, apologizes to the lion and takes down his signs so the forest animals will be his friends again.
Little Bear succumbs to the bullying and mob-mentality rejection and gives up his chair for anyone to use.
This book, if it had a page of questions as the last page, would be a worthy purchase as thought and discussion are necessary to weed through the messages woven into the text. Advocating the use of public humiliation from a community as a solution for a personal interaction between two friends is not the right answer.
Possible questions might be; Why did Ryan the lion ignore the signs? Was that the right thing to do? Why not? Why did Little Bear get so upset? Was that the right thing to do? Why not? When the lion was found in the chair, should he have apologized to Little Bear? Do friends act like the Ryan the Lion? Do friends act like Little Bear? Why did all the animals in the forest side with the lion? Was that the right behavior for them? Should the lion have turned all the animals against Little Bear? Has anyone ever tried to make you feel bad because you had something, and they didn’t? What was your response?
A question page for discussion at the end of the book would add purpose and value to the story; without it, I rate this book 2 stars.