by James Skofield
Sleeping Bear Press, 2014
One spring evening an old bear finds a young bird, still learning to fly, has fallen to the ground. When the bear lifts the bird to safety, a friendship begins. Bear and Bird soon become constant companions, spending their days together, searching out berries and watching out for one another. They are only separated during the winter months when Bear hibernates and Bird flies south. As the years pass, their friendship grows stronger. Then one spring day, when Bird returns from his winter trip, Bear is not there to greet him. Days and then weeks pass and still no Bear. When Bird finally learns why his dear friend is absent, memories of their time together bring comfort and acceptance. In this tale of an unlikely but loving friendship, the cycle of life, including its joys and its sorrows, is gently explored.
“… Bright, guileless pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations vary in size and gently show the age-old story of life and loss.
The simple shapes, outlined in black, and clear, pleasing colors will appeal to young children. Pair this with Mo Willem’s City Dog, Country Frog (2010) for a similar tale with a hopeful ending.” –Booklist