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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Good for You, Good for Me
by Lorenz Pauli
Age Range: Under_5
Bear is sitting on his red cushion when he hears music in the distance. Dormouse appears with his flute and Bear suggests a swap of his cushion for the flute, “good for you, good for me” he says. Dormouse agrees, but Bear can’t play the flute with his big paws, so Dormouse craftily suggests that they swap again, this time, the flute for the music. Now Dormouse has both the cushion and the flute! As Dormouse continues to make deals with Bear including giving him his lucky pebble, Bear finally comes to the realisation that he doesn’t need any of these things anyway.
His warm, soft fur is much better than a cushion, he doesn’t need a flute when he can whistle his songs, and luck seems to find him anyway so the lucky pebble is unnecessary. When Bear returns the lucky pebble to Dormouse he is astounded.
Through the story Bear and Dormouse learn that just because someone says something is good for both you it doesn’t necessarily mean it is. They also appreciate what they have and realise that friendship isn’t always about getting something tangible in return. The implicit message in the text will get young readers thinking about friendships and also sharing. Kathrin Schärer’s large, appealing, funny illustrations make this a delightful tale.