Hector and Hummingbird by Nicholas John Frith
This is a warm and funny picture book about the friendship between Hector the bear and his hummingbird friend. The two are the best of friends, but sometimes Hector gets annoyed with Hummingbird because he never stops talking, even when Hector wants some peace and quiet, and Hummingbird is always copying what Hector does. So one day, Hector has had enough and he goes off into the jungle on his own to get away from Hummingbird. He is alone and quiet in the jungle, but he misses Hummingbird and regrets leaving him behind. But it turns out that Hummingbird had been following him all along and the two are reunited in a happy and witty ending. This story teaches some valuable lessons about friendship. One is that, often, talking through a problem can solve it. Hummingbird didn’t understand why Hector was annoyed with him. When Hector learned that Hummingbird copied him because he thought Hector had great ideas, Hector was flattered instead of annoyed. And when Hummingbird understood that Hector sometimes wanted quiet time, Hummingbird did his best to tone it down (with comical results, as he couldn’t quite stop his flow of chatter, but he did do his best). Hummingbird is a charming character, earnest and loyal, and Hector learns a valuable lesson about communication and patience. All people, even those we love the most, can get on our nerves at times, but the benefits of their friendship outweigh the little annoyances we all sometimes feel, and compromise is necessary in any relationship because both parties matter and need to respect the other.