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Marsha Kideckel
Illustrated by Kitty Macaulay
Toronto, Annick Press, 1994, unpaged, paper,
99 cents, ISBN 1-55037-347-1. (Annickins Stagedoor).
Distributed by Firefly Books.

Preschool / Ages 3-4

Reviewed by Patricia Butler

Volume 22 Number 4
1994 September

Bear is Justin's best cuddly toy. The only problem is that he is too big to take to camp and Justin can't imagine leaving him at home. He tries to sneak Bear into his suitcase by removing all the clothes, but Mama says no. He tries to shrink Bear in a hot bath but he just gets wet. Justin even tries to sneak Bear under his shirt on the morning he's leaving but Mama finds out. Finally, on the way to the bus, Mama says Bear can go. When they get there, they discover that Bear will have lots of company--giraffes elephants, tigers and even a few other bears!

Macaulay's soft artwork is a lovely complement to a text that deals nicely with a child's attachment to a favourite toy and the ends to which he or she will go to keep it near. The style of language makes this accessible to the beginning reader and especially to those who still have that special friend.

Patricia Butler is a freelance librarian in Toronto, Ontario

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