When our writer first thought of who Grady Bear’s sidekick should be, she wanted to create a character who would be the opposite of Grady Bear – someone who will provide her with lots of content fodder for conflict and friction between the two friends, and to provide learning opportunities for children about opposites.
Many possible combinations were considered, but the one that stood out was her exploration of a bear and bee being friends… Thus the idea of opposite sizes was born:
Big and small and in-between (“great” and “big” vs “small” and “tiny”)
Now, from a book production point of view, having a bee and bear as friends meant that the rendering of both the bear and the bee (or bee and bear) would be a challenge on every page… a task that our artist happily undertook without any complaints. Thanks to our artist for being ever so sporting!
Compared to Grady Bear, Deedee is absolutely tiny.
And that makes her all the more relatable to children, as children navigate the huge world around them pretty much in the same way as Deedee the Bee. I mean, the world we live in is mostly created for grown-ups: big chairs, tall handles, hard to reach table tops… Deedee sums it all best when she says sportingly:
“Just because I’m tiny doesn’t mean I can’t move mountains”
Little did our writer realize that when she chose to make a bear and bee friends in Grady Bear Adventures, not only was she opening up many conventional ideas of what friendship is, she was also opening up different ways of how people view bears and bees… Read here for more.