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Reviewed by Louise Hurrell for Readers' Favorite
Compare Bear's Double Dare by Kim Linette is a part of the EQ Explorer Book Series and follows the adventurous Danny. The young boy goes for a hike in the woods but loses the trail and becomes disoriented. Whilst searching for the path to lead him back home, Danny runs into Compare Bear. The bear has a problem: he is constantly comparing himself to other animals, resulting in different body parts changing. Can Danny convince Compare Bear not to judge himself against other animals and to find the trail that will lead him home?
The main theme of Compare Bear's Double Dare – to just be yourself and not compare yourself with others – is a great topic for children and Kim Linette executes it wonderfully. The theme is emphasized in the plot throughout, and even the small quote by C.G Jung hammers it home. I imagine many people will identify with the struggle of being yourself, so it is a great topic to explore. Linette's handling of Danny is also brilliantly done. He is very spunky and funny yet kind-hearted; I think a lot of younger readers will like and empathize with him. The dynamic he has with Compare Bear is also a lot of fun to read about. The illustrations done by James Loram are also great. They are very colorful and evocative in capturing these woodlands and also work well with Linette's writing. Overall, I think Compare Bear's Double Dare is a great picture book for younger readers: it has a wonderful theme, beautiful pictures, a sweet story, and relatable characters. What's not to enjoy?