For a child, being served a dinner of your least favorite foods can be a devastating event. So begins Last Night by Korean artist Hyewon Yum. A little girl, dejected by an unsavory meal, goes to bed, finding consolation in the form of her stuffed bear. In her dream world, the bear comes alive (growing to the size of a real bear), and takes her on an adventure. She and Bear travel to the forest, to meet some woodland friends. They dance, play hide and seek, go fishing, have a bonfire, then fall asleep in a clearing. When the little girl wakes, her disastrous supper is forgotten and so starts a new day.
It’s a case of mistaken identity in the forest with Where’s My Teddy by Jez Alborough. A little boy, Eddie, is searching for his lost teddy bear, Freddie, in the woods. The trees are dark and scary, and Eddie really just wants to curl up in bed with his favorite toy. But what does he find? An enormous teddy bear! “How did you get to be this size?” he wonders, until he hears a voice crying outside the clearing. Suddenly, a giant bear is stomping toward him, carrying Freddie, and bewailing his smallness. “My ted!” rejoices the bear, and then “A boy!” he screams in fright! The two exchange teddies and dash is opposite directions. The story ends happily with both Eddie and the bear in their own snuggly beds, with their own cuddly teds.
Don’t Worry Bear is an adorable book by Greg Foley. The titular protagonist, a little bear, is concerned for his friend the caterpillar. Caterpillar is hard at work on a cocoon. He’s going to stay inside it for a while, but promises Bear he’ll see him soon. Bear comes to check on him at night with a flashlight, but Caterpillar assures him he’s not afraid of the dark. Bear comes again when it’s windy and rainy and snowy, but Caterpillar assures him he’s well protected from the elements. Bear is almost care-free until one day he visits the cocoon and find it lying empty on the ground. Caterpillar is gone, but in his place is Bear’s newly transformed friend, a beautiful silk moth!
A Visitor for Bear is an endearing tale by Bonny Becker with soothing illustrations by Kady MacDonald Denton. Bear seems quite sure he does not like visitors. He even has a sign on his door saying “NO VISITORS ALLOWED” which is why he’s taken aback by a persistent mouse who continues to show up uninvited. “Vamoose!” he tells the mouse and “Be gone!” but he keeps appearing again and again. Finally Bear gives in. The mouse can stay for one cup of tea, but then he must leave. But when the mouse compliments Bear’s home, appreciates his headstands, laughs at his jokes, Bear discovers he does enjoy company after all tears his sign down.
Old Bear is the latest book from celebrated author and illustrator Kevin Henkes. It’s the story of a bear who goes to sleep, to hibernate for the winter. It’s snowing outside his cave, but he’s dreaming of seasons past, the springs, summers, falls, and winters of his youth. He dreams of being a cub again, frolicking amongst the flowers, chasing butterflies in the light rain, and playing in the autumnal leaves by a river full of fish! He even dreams of the winter world covered in snow, staring up at beautiful northern lights. He sleeps and dreams a very long time, but to him its as if no time has passed at all. When hewakes up to look outside his cave he expects to see snow, but is happily suprised to walk out into a wonderful spring day!
Polar Bear Puzzle is part of the Adventures of Riley series by Amanda Lumry and Laura Hurwitz, endorsed by the Smithsonian Institute and the World Wildlife Fund. This series is really creative in that it mixes photographs with drawn illustrations, and stories with non fiction facts. For instance in Polar Bear Puzzle Riley goes to visit his biologist uncle Max in Churchill Canada, Polar Bear Capital of the world. Due to climate change, Uncle Max must tag and transfer bears to colder parts of the country, and Riley gets to help! On the way they meet several other arctic animals, and even see the northern lights. This is a very cool book with tons of timely information.