Friday, December 15, 2017
A Christmas for Bear, written by Bonny Becker and illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton. Candlewick Press, Random House. 2017. $21.99 ages 4 and up
Christmas. He'd never had a
tree with a sparkling star, or
candy canes, or even
gingerbread bears. But he'd
read all about it.
the most important thing
Can you believe this is the sixth time we have had the pleasure of visiting with Bear and Mouse. Beginning with their first encounter in A Visitor for Bear in 2008, we have since shared a birthday, bedtime, the sniffles, and even a library visit. It's quite the charming collection of stories to read together.
In this sixth story, the two best friends have much to experience ... pickles, a poem and perhaps a present or two. It's the first time Bear has celebrated Christmas and he wants Mouse to be there. Bear knows little more than what he has read. He is convinced that pickles and poetry are all they need. Mouse, on the other hand, has presents high on his list of necessities.
Bear is nothing, if not cranky and crabby. He does not agree in any way with Mouse's perception of what constitutes a happy Christmas. Mouse is nothing, if not determined and single-minded. He manages to escape Bear's presence on a number of occasions, bent on finding the present he is sure must be hidden somewhere. Will he be successful?
"There was Mouse. Small and gray and guilty-eyed.
"Not even one tiny present!" squeaked Mouse.
"The pickles from France!" declared Bear.
"But surely - " said Mouse.
"And furthermore," continued Bear, "I shall be
reading a long and difficult poem."
Not enough for Mouse. Bear wouldn't forget his best friend, would he? And what about Mouse? Will there be a present for his best friend, too?
Kady MacDonald Denton continues to match her soft watercolor, ink and gouache artwork to the expressive and most enjoyable text. The stances and expressions of both Bear and Mouse are perfectly drawn, engaging those who share this tale fully from start to finish. Their personalities shine through at every turn, on every new page. The setting is familiar, the contrast between the two handled with aplomb and a generous dose of humor.
What a collection! Another to add to my 'keepers' shelf and to share with my granddaughters.