On the day that Miss Cluck says there is going to be a new animal in the class, everyone is very excited. In fact, there are squeals of delight. Nobody expects the new animal to be a bear. So, when Boris takes his first hairy, scary, grizzly steps into the classroom, Leticia the rabbit, Fergus the fox cub, Maxwell the mole, and the little miceEL scream! Of course, Boris doesn't mean to be scary. He only wants to make friends. But he spends a lonely, miserable first day at school. When it's home time, Boris trudges through the woods, far behind the others. After all, it seems to him that none of them wants to be his friend. Then he sees some rats up ahead as they jump out from behind the trees. Boris hurries along to introduce himself (ever hopeful of making new friends) but, once again, his ursine enthusiasm terrifies the rats. However, to his astonishment, in scaring off the bullies Boris has truly endeared himself to Maxwell, Leticia, Fergus and the mice. Boris is a gentle giant and he immediately wins our affections.How Boris is perceived by his classmates and how those perceptions change as the story unfolds give this picture book real resonance for children everywhere who have experienced being new among an unfamiliar group.