LaLa and the Unfair Bear

LaLa's World Book 3

Children - Grade K-3rd
17 Pages
Reviewed on 05/12/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Cheryl Schopen for Readers' Favorite

In Tela Kayne’s LaLa and the Unfair Bear, the third book in the LaLa’s World series, LaLa loves her teddy bear, Beary, and she is very excited that her friend Dennis is coming over to play, and he’s even bringing his own teddy bear, so Beary will have someone to play with. However, when Dennis comes over with his teddy bear, LaLa begins to feel a little upset. His bear, Cubby, is a giant! She soon realizes that Dennis and Cubby can do a lot of things that she and Beary can’t do. She doesn’t think that’s fair. But with the help of her mom, instead of focusing on being envious, she learns to be grateful for what she has instead of what she doesn’t have.

What I love most about Tela Kayne’s LaLa and the Unfair Bear is the lesson it teaches. So many of us, not just kids but adults as well, focus on what others have, what we want but can’t have, that we forget to be thankful for all of the amazing things we do have in our lives. Instead of being envious of our friends, family, and neighbors, let’s look around our homes and our loved ones and just be grateful. This lesson is taught beautifully in this children’s book with a relatable story for kids and colorful, vibrant illustrations that immediately caught my eye. My daughter and I have read tons of picture books over the years, and not a lot of them teach a life lesson, so I really appreciate books like this. I would definitely read this to my kid and my students. So, I must say Thank You to Tela Kayne for writing LaLa and the Unfair Bear. What a bright and refreshing story!

Jack Magnus

LaLa and the Unfair Bear: LaLa's World, Book 3 is a social issues picture book for children written by Tela Kayne and illustrated by Goran Vitanovic. LaLa had been looking forward to her playdate with Dennis all morning. She assured her teddy bear, Beary, that he would enjoy it as well since Dennis was bringing his own bear, Cubby. When Dennis and Cubby arrived, however, LaLa was not all that pleased to see how big Cubby was. Then, she felt even worse when they all played catch, and Cubby could catch the balls while Beary wasn’t able to. Cubby seemed like he could do so much more than Beary. LaLa’s mom caught on when she noticed that Beary wasn’t in LaLa’s bed that night. When she asked LaLa about it, LaLa began to cry and shared her feelings about Cubby and Beary. Her mom knew exactly what to do. She gave Beary a big hug and suggested LaLa write about all the things that make Beary so special and loved. It helped LaLa appreciate Beary again and feel gratitude for having her teddy bear as a friend.

Tela Kayne’s LaLa and the Unfair Bear explores the feelings of jealousy and envy children may experience in situations where another kid has a bigger bear or what seems to be a better toy. LaLa’s mom’s suggestion that her daughter writes down the reasons she is grateful for Beary helps LaLa dispel those negative emotions and focus instead on all the positive things Beary brings her. She is even able to share that sense of gratitude with Dennis when they meet at school the next day, and he wishes aloud that he could bring Cubby to school with him the way LaLa brings her smaller teddy, Beary. Kayne’s story is never preachy or didactic, and it shows the value of gratitude in a manner that is easily accessible to a young reader. Goran Vitanovic’s illustrations make Cubby and Beary come alive as the children and their teddies play together. Each brightly colored panel works perfectly with the story. I especially appreciated the panel where the disappointed LaLa actually sits on poor Beary while she reads the Bear Book. LaLa and the Unfair Bear: LaLa's World, Book 3 is most highly recommended.

Tiffany Ferrell

In LaLa and the Unfair Bear by Tela Kayne, LaLa is excited that her best friend Dennis is coming over and bringing his teddy bear Cubby to play with her Beary. LaLa is surprised when Dennis comes to her house with a bear that is as large as him. LaLa soon finds herself jealous that Dennis’s Cubby can do a lot of things that her little Beary can’t. Before long, LaLa doesn’t want to cuddle with her teddy bear anymore. Her mother discovers the bear on the table and asks why Beary isn’t with her; he had been sleeping next to her since she was a baby. LaLa sadly tells her mom about all the things Cubby can do but Beary can’t. Her mother reminds the little girl that Beary might be small but there are still a lot of things he can do better than Cubby.

LaLa and the Unfair Bear is an adorable read and very educational for young children. It teaches kids that it’s okay to be different and that we all are special in our own way. Tela Kayne delivered this message in a fun, cute way that was simple and straight to the point. I also liked how the mother got LaLa to write down what she’s thankful for in a gratitude journal. The illustrations were beyond amazing and I liked the little pieces added to give you an idea of what kind of person LaLa is growing up to be. She wears a cute 'Save the Polar Bears' shirt. Goran Vitanovic did an amazing job with the images, and they go with the story perfectly. LaLa’s World books are definitely a series I would love to read to my child.

Jacob R LaMar

LaLa and the Unfair Bear is the third book in the children’s series called LaLa’s World. Written by Tela Kayne, this edition of LaLa’s World focuses on gratitude and the difference it can make in your life. The story focuses on LaLa and her stuffed bear, Beary. The two are best friends and she couldn’t be happier with Beary, that is until she has her friend Dennis visit for a playdate with his special stuffed friend Cubby. Almost instantly LaLa becomes jealous because Cubby can do so many more things than Beary can due to his size, like catching a ball. Upon seeing her daughter’s distress, LaLa’s mom encourages her to think of all the good things about Beary and write them down. Naturally, this makes LaLa feel much better about her relationship with Beary and she soon realizes that insecurities are natural for everyone. She discovers the very next day that Dennis also feels a little jealousy about how many things Beary can do because he’s so much smaller, like attending school with LaLa.

LaLa and the Unfair Bear is an entertaining tale that teaches a wonderful and under-circulated message in society today. Bigger isn’t always better and sometimes it’s best to just find joy in what you already have. The story is effectively told by Kayne with a simple and straight-to-the-point approach. The details the author includes in the story are well-thought-out to enhance the narrative throughout. There were no space-filling and time-wasting sentences that detract from the reading experience. The illustrations by Goran Vitanovic are light and sincere editions to the story. They do a delightful job of bringing LaLa’s World to life in a fun way. I expect this book to be well-liked by children for its cute pictures and its engaging storyline as well as by parents for the admirable life lesson it successfully broaches. LaLa and the Unfair Bear is truly a book for all.

Barbara Fanson

LaLa and the Unfair Bear is a wonderful book that should be shared at school and home. Grab your favorite Teddy and read this story. Most children have a plush animal and can relate to this story. Author Tela Kayne has written a warm and loving story of two children having a playdate. They each have a Teddy Bear and try to include them in the playdate. But, it’s not as fun a playdate as LaLa had hoped. This enjoyable book is written with a side order of gratitude and a sprinkling of understanding feelings and learning how to express them. It’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing your possessions with other people; even LaLa compares her small Teddy Bear to Dennis’s much larger bear. Is LaLa envious, sad, or angry? This well-written story weaves feelings in so subtly that children may not realize they’re reading a story that could help them develop a better understanding of their feelings—and how to label them.

The beautiful, colorful artwork by illustrator Goran Vitanovic will help draw children into LaLa and the Unfair Bear, while the story will keep them interested. This relatable tale by author Tela Kayne should be recommended reading. All children have experienced envy of their friends’ toys and want items that their friends have. This cleverly disguised story will help children to understand that they should appreciate what they have and how they can play with their own toys and possessions. I highly recommend this book and believe it should occupy the shelves of classrooms, school libraries, and even home libraries