CM . . .
. Volume XXIII Number 9. . . .November 4, 2016
Itís not easy being Bear. As Bear is the biggest animal in the forest, all the other forest residents run and hide whenever he appears, and no one dares to go near him. The other animals talk about him behind his back, but all Bear wants is a friend. Before settling in for the winter, Bear decides to throw a big party in his cozy den, and he invites all his forest neighbours to celebrate with him Ė but who among them will be brave enough to befriend a giant bear?
Bearís Winter Party is a lovely, optimistic little story about looking beyond appearances and being open to making friends with those who might look, sound or act differently. It reminds young readers not to jump to conclusions or form opinions of others without taking the time to really get to know them. This important message is delivered with a gentle hand, and the story never comes across as preachy or moralistic. This is certainly a longer picture book, and some younger readers might find it a bit text-heavy, but I think it would work particularly well as a soothing bedtime story.
Jane Whittingham is a children's librarian in Vancouver, British Columbia.
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