“A straightforward, short, and simple story of a bear in his tutu braving dance class.”
In this companion to Gee’s earlier and well-esteemed title, Mad, Mad Bear!, this time Bear is glad—glad to have new leggings, slippers, and a tutu, because today is his first day of dance class. He’s very excited to put on his dance clothes and head out the door, but once he sees inside the dance studio’s window, he starts to feel a little nervous, shy, and afraid—though the reason for these feelings is left up to interpretation. As he’s feeling nervous, the music starts, and bear starts to feel “light,” “bubbly,” and “twirly.” His love of dancing makes him feel comfortable, and he ends the class feeling very glad he went. With the simple and straightforward storyline, unadorned and average illustrations, and little amount of text (many pages only contain one word), this book would either be better suited in a board book format or with a supplemented storyline. Bear’s happily sporting his tutu is perhaps the only noteworthy aspect of the rather unremarkable story of a timid bear facing his fears, placing this book lower in the ranks in the genre of books challenging gender stereotypes.
Bear is very, very, very GLAD today! He’s taking his first ballet class. But he’s a little nervous too. This sweet and silly picture book is an honest exploration of feelings that little ones—and grown-ups!—are sure to relate to.
Bear is so excited that today is dance day! He has his new leggings, slippers, and tutu, and he is ready to go. But when he gets there, he feels a little shy, a little unsure, and even a little afraid. What can make him feel better? Dancing, of course!
This charming companion to Mad, Mad Bear is a celebration of how stepping out and doing the things we love makes us feel happy…even if we are a little apprehensive at first!
Bear feels nervous, scared, and shy about joining dance class, but when it’s over, he’s glad he went. When have you been nervous about something but have been happy you had the courage to do it?
Dancing makes bear feel happy and light. Do you like dancing? What activities make you feel happy?
Kimberly Gee grew up in Lakewood, New Jersey, and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from California State University, Long Beach. Prior to delving into her life-long dream of writing and illustrating children’s books, Kimberly parlayed her creative talents into a successful career in architectural design, illustration, and greeting card design and production. Kimberly currently resides in Claremont, California. She has two young children, Finn and Claire, who are her inspiration (and her models). Visit her at KimberlyGee.com.
For Momma Bear Kelly and her cub, Axl
“Gee’s thoughtful illustrations sympathetically depict Bear’s shifting emotions in a way that’s realistic and relatable.”
“His nonstereotypical gender presentation is celebrated and affirmed. A star sticker from the teacher for his participation leaves Bear “very glad” he joined the class, where he has also made a new friend—a bespectacled, darker-furred bear.
A positive, contemporary view of individuality and nonjudgmental acceptance.”