The Other Bears: Teaching Acceptance and Respect for All
It is so important to teach our youth to accept and respect people that may be different then us whether it is by culture, skin tone, gender, etc. For young children it can be hard to help them understand (to be honest – I can tell my two year old the same thing many times and he will probably still repeat the same action). Books and movies are an excellent avenue to help children learn that we may look or act differently but on the inside we are all the same.
The Other Bears written by Michael Thompson follows the Koala Bear family. The Koala Bear family are taking a trip but the trip is made difficult by Mother and Father Koala Bear who are suspicious of all the other bears. Mother and Father Koala Bear find faults with all the differences the other bears have. All of these feelings melt away when they watch all of the little bears play together.
This children’s book touched on some great topics – acceptance and love for all types of people. I love how it shows the love that children have for all people and how this should be fostered by the adults in their life. Although they did address the topic of acceptance briefly I would have loved to see it expanded a little bit more at the end. It would have been nice to speak more about the Koala Bear parent’s mistakes in misjudging the other bears and how they would accept the other bears.
It did a great job of opening up the conversation with my eldest about his own experiences at school where he is exposed to bullying and racism towards other children (he is not the victim nor the aggressor but has been a witness and has numerous times acted to their defence or told a teacher). I realized we do not have these conversations enough.
Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. Opinions expressed are my own.