- The Boy and the Bear by Tracey Corderoy
Corderoy, Tracey The Boy and the Bear; illus. by Sarah Massini. Nosy Crow/Candlewick, 2019 [32p] Trade ed. ISBN 978-1-5362-0814-6 $16.99 Reviewed from galleys R 3-5 yrs
In this British import, a boy yearns for a friend to play with, and he thinks he's found one in whoever's sending him messages in a paper boat floated across a pond. When the boy finds out his future best friend is a bear, he's disappointed, and the games don't work well (Bear just weights the seesaw down, and he's an easy find in hide and seek). When Bear builds a treehouse, however, the boy is onboard with the idea, and the two have their own hangout spot. Upon the first snowfall, though, Bear must hibernate and leave his friend—but only until spring. Massini's illustrations in mixed-media format capture the watercolor blues and greens of pond life, with Bear a blue, endearingly round creature with tiny eyes and ears; the much [End Page 162] smaller boy sports a cute red pom-pom hat that stands out against the cooler tones. This is a typical yet touching story about the power of friendship, even through the seasons and across species; viewers will smile at the final image of the boy and Bear embracing after spending the winter apart.