Sunday, May 19, 2019

Review - A Birthday for Bear

A Birthday for Bear (Bear and Mouse #2)
by Bonny Becker
illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton
Date: 2009
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 56
Format: e-book
Source: Open Library

Can a relentlessly cheery Mouse wear down a party-pooping Bear? The unlikely pair are back in a droll, utterly charming tale that early readers will celebrate.

Bear does not like birthdays. He doesn’t like parties or balloons, cards or candles. In fact, Bear does not like anything to do with birthdays at all. He would much rather spend his birthday alone cleaning his house, but Mouse, small and gray and bright-eyed, has other ideas. The author and illustrator who created the best-selling picture book A VISITOR FOR BEAR return with another comedy about the curmudgeonly Bear and his eager friend Mouse, this time in an early-reader format.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I think this might be my favourite book about Bear and Mouse!

It's Bear's birthday, but he doesn't want to have anything to do with celebrating. Luckily for him, his friend Mouse has got it all covered. With an apologetic tone, Mouse gently perseveres in his quest to give Bear the perfect birthday party, knowing that the curmudgeon will enjoy it once he gets over his fear of change.

That's one of the things I love about these books. The message about embracing change is one I haven't seen very often in children's books, even though it's a common issue. Some people love their routines. They can love them so much that they might miss out on other enjoyable things! Mouse is an amazing friend to Bear, sometimes a bit annoying in his quest to show Bear new experiences, but never pushing too hard; at this point, he seems to know just what it takes for Bear to slowly come to the realization that a change of pace can be a good thing.

I kind of wish I'd read these books in order, but it's still fun seeing where certain elements of the later books originated. And I love the present Mouse got for Bear!

Quotable moment:

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 4 out of 5

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