When it comes to bouncing, nobody is more accomplished than Tigger. Or that’s what he thinks, anyway, and the others in the Hundred-Acre Wood are inclined to agree. But in Oh, Bother! Someone’s Jealous!, written by Betty Birney and illustrated by Nancy Stevenson, Tigger discovers that he is not the best bouncer in the forest, and it’s not so easy to be taken down a peg, even if the new champion isn’t rubbing it in his face.
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This book is one of a line of Pooh books dealing with destructive habits or feelings common in childhood. Well, adulthood too! But the hope is that kids will read these stories and be a little less inclined to act the way that each book’s central character does before undergoing a change of heart.
Here, Tigger is out for a day of fun with Pooh, Piglet and Roo. It’s a beautiful spring day, and that makes him feel springy, so he suggests a morning of hill-bouncing to his friends. Pooh and Piglet don’t quite have the knack, but Roo gets to the top of the hill in fewer bounces than Tigger; those great big kangaroo feet come in handy! He’s built for bouncing, even more than Tigger is. And even though the two are best buddies, Tigger doesn’t like it.
The book shows Tigger working through his jealousy in a couple of different ways. First, after storming off in a huff, he encounters Owl, who offers to help him work on his bouncing skills. There’s no need to be jealous when you’re on top again, after all. This demonstrates how a sense of competition can be a powerful motivator. But it backfires on Tigger, who comes to realize that as good as he is at bouncing, Roo is just a little bit better. At that point, it takes a pep talk and a willingness to humble himself for Tigger to let go of his jealousy and just enjoy the day with his bouncy young friend.
Birney writes the book well, with all of the characters acting in very believable ways, from sage Christopher Robin to innocent Roo, who doesn’t understand why his pal is abandoning him. Stevenson’s illustrations are great as well, colorful and nicely shaded. Everything is so vibrant that it’s clear the book is set during springtime. While not every character turns up in this book, the only ones missing are Kanga and Gopher, and each contributes to the story in some way.
Oh, Bother! Someone’s Jealous! is a cute book that tackles an issue many children face frequently. Jealousy is a tough emotion to avoid, but maybe kids who have read this book will be just a little bit less likely to lash out against someone whose abilities make them turn an unattractive shade of green.
This review is part of Carstairs38's All Things Disney Write-Off, Sleeper54's Lean and Mean IX Write-Off and my Tales to Warm Your Mind Write-Off.