I love a good picture book with a clever message hidden away and Sneaky Beak by Tracey Corderoy does exactly that.
The story is very clever in the message about being happy with your lot in life (and a little message against consumerism). Bear sees an advert for a brand new bed. Like any good advert, it begins to sow the seeds of doubt that perhaps his own bed isn’t quite super duper enough, perhaps it’s lacking a bit of bounce.
Of course, Bear succumbs to the marketing and gets the new bed. But Sneaky Beak, of course, has many new gizmos that he can offer Bear to improve his life. Enthusiastic sales pitches and the snazzy smile of Sneaky Beak sees Bear consuming more and more (despite the reader being able to right through Sneaky Beak and his sales pitches) and ends up losing the things that actually mean that most, and can’t be replaced by any number of gadgets.
This is such a fantastically clever book and is a wonderful tale of friendship as well as a message that the ‘fear of missing out’ might actually lead you to miss out on the one thing you might have taken for granted.
Sneaky Beak is a wonderful book to read aloud and we had great fun acting this book out – with me being Sneaky Beak and putting on the sales man pitch and trying to persuade the children to part with all manner of things to replace with a new and improved version. I was happy that no matter how sparkly and shiny, they didn’t want to replace their Dad and me!