The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland
I adore everything about this book. I love that it's a rhyming book, I love the illustrations, and most importantly, I love the lesson that it teaches.
The book starts out with four friends (zebra, moose, lion, and sheep) looking for a warm place to play together...
But little do they know... there's someone else in that cave...
the very cranky bear. Or at least... they think he's cranky. So, they go about trying to cheer him up.
Zebra thinks the bear would cheer up if he had stripes. Moose thinks the bear would cheer up if he had antlers. Lion thinks the bear would cheer up if he had a golden mane. And sheep, whose plain, just stands watching them all be vain.
But none of those things cheered him up.
So sheep goes and clips her wool and makes the bear a soft pillow to lay his head on...
... which cheers the bear up so he can fall back asleep and the four friends can go back to playing cards in his cave.
Moral of the story: Being plain is ok. Being thoughtful is more important than having beautiful things. "It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice."
I'm pretty sure I got this book from a Scholastic book order. Look for it next time your child brings one home. And for all of you homeschooling mamas... did you know you can open an educators Scholastic account and order books? Well, you can. :)