Armadillo and Hare and the Very Noisy Bear


While Armadillo is rather set in his ways and buttons his old cardigan wrongly, Hare is sleek, empathetic and sociable. Yet the two friends rub along together, appreciating their differences. Therefore, when we open the story they plan to celebrate the day they first met with a party. Unfortunately, just as everyone squeezes ‘into the little cabin‘ the lights go out. Thankfully Wombat, a wonderful electrician, is on hand. Furthermore, Hare can produce ‘light’ music from his tuba, while Armadillo can soothe any frightened guests.

Armadillo and Hare and the Very Noisy Bear are some of the creatures we meet in the Big Forest. Lobster, Tortoise, Jaguar, Giraffe, Elephant and Stick Insect are residents also, although Stick Insect is a little more difficult to detect.

When Armadillo decides to hold an exhibition of his paintings in the Big Forest, Hare is dubious. After all, Armadillo’s paintings show cheese only; couldn’t he ‘choose another subject, like muesli or a picture of [their] cabin’? However, the exhibition is held with results that nobody could predict…

Jeremy Strong and Rebecca Bagley’s collaboration is a triumph. These woodland stories are warm-hearted, quizzical, captivating triumphs that we urge readers to enjoy. We are delighted to return to the Big Forest with this sequel to Armadillo and Hare. Let’s raise a cheese sandwich and blow a burst of tuba to welcome Armadillo and Hare and the Very Noisy Bear. 

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Armadillo and Hare and the Very Noisy Bear

Jeremy Strong, illustrated by Rebecca Bagley

(David Fickling Books)

We return to the Big Forest and Armadillo and Hare and the Very Noisy Bear. Thankfully, the bear is nowhere in sight, or sound, as we open the first chapter of this wonderful book. Here, it seems, the pair have decided upon a celebration. While it’s not Armadillo’s usual urge, he’s reminded that ‘it’s exactly one year, five months and twenty-three and a half days‘ since the pair met. Therefore, it’s time for a party.
The pair are quite different characters, so that while the Noisy Bear affronts Armadillo’s listening senses, Hare is delighted. Mind you, Hare can play the tuba so that wishes and light music of ‘fireflies and glow-worms, tiny dancing fireworks and bright neon signs’ might appear. So a bear of the polar variety, who offers medical attention and plays the drums, delights Hare.
One of my reading highlights is Armadillo and Hare. I love the pace, charm, theme and setting of the stories within this book. They are reminiscent of other favourite pairings such as Mouse & Mole and Emmett and Caleb. There is something unsaid, comfortable and familiar about their partnership. Like the illustrators of those titles, Rebecca Bagley demonstrates this closeness and trust empathetically.
Therefore to have further Small Tales from the Big Forest is the icing on the (cheese) cake. Bookwagon adores this book and its prequel. We recommend them highly to newer readers, and their families.


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