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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Library Book for Bear, written by Bonny Becker and illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton. Candlewick Press, Random House. 2014. $ 19.00 ages 3 and up

"Bear had never been  to the library. He had seven very nice books at home:
three about kings and queens, three about honeybees, and one about pickles.
Bear was quite sure he had
all the books he would ever need."

I'm so happy to be back in the company of Mouse and Bear! I have missed them...a lot! The fact that they spend some of their time in a library, with books, almost makes me giddy.

Mouse is the kind of friend we all want to have - concerned about Bear and wanting only the best for him. In this instance, Mouse wants to share a love of books and libraries; the work comes in trying to convince Bear that having a library card is a necessity of life.

As we would expect from previous tales, Mouse is the early riser and quick to pay a morning visit to his reluctant pal. We recognize Mouse as "small and gray and bright-eyed." We also know that Bear will not be keen on whatever suggestion his tiny sidekick makes.  Today, the library visit is front and foremost.  Bear is certain he has all the books he could ever need. There are seven of them!

The books he already has cover all of his interests: honeybees, royalty and pickles. Mouse is ever persistent. Grudgingly, Bear accepts the invitation. Ms. Becker ramps up the humor (and the charm) in a series of endearing scenes that will have her young readers wishing they were in that same library to share the fun.

The dialogue between the two is fresh and full of fun, the antics familiar, and the friendship strong. The five books in this very special series encourage talk about character, how to be a friend and the joy found in being together. Kady MacDonald Denton's enchanting watercolour illustrations create the perfect backdrop for these much admired characters. Her library is the stuff of dreams. Mouse and Bear come to life with expressions that elicit giggles and endless entertainment.

If you haven't met them in earlier books, you don't want to wait any longer. Is it too early to be thinking about gifts for Christmas? If not, give this book a close look. It's sure to be a hit. Then, go out and buy the entire collection!

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