When a red ball comes flying through the air towards Scruffy Bear, he gives it a kick sending it high up into the branches of a tree. But when four rabbits looking for a red ball turn up, it’s up to Scruffy Bear to find out why it hasn’t fallen from the branches yet. Feeling guilty about kicking it in the first place, Scruffy Bear proclaims himself to be an ‘excellent tree-climber’, despite having never climbed a tree at all. As the ground gets further away, Scruffy Bear has some surprising encounters, but will he solve the mystery of the missing ball before he falls down himself?
Scruffy Bear is back in the follow-up to the award-winning Scruffy Bear and the Six White Mice and in his own scruffy way, he’s helping the smaller animals of the wood again. Wormell keeps a traditional illustration style and Scruffy Bear looks friendly and familiar. The scenery is clean and focussed on the action in the tree and the double-spread layout makes good use of the extended beaks and branches. The change in orientation at the finale is a nice surprise and the ending is resolved swiftly and sweetly. A gentle story, perfect for bedtime.