When a lonely little boy receives an invitation to play written on a paper boat, it seems that he has finally found the best friend he’s been longing for. But Bear isn’t quite the playmate the boy had imagined. Bear may not know how to play games, but when he starts to build a tree house, the boy is intrigued and a magical summer begins. As autumn passes and the first winter snowflakes start to fall, the boy is left alone. Only then does he truly realize how much he misses Bear. It’s a happy reunion when Bear finally returns in the spring.
In the middle of the story, the bear hibernates. Can you think of any other animals that hibernate?
Friendship can be tough. Is the boy always nice to the bear? What do they decide to do when Bear can’t play any of the boy’s games well? Is your child experiencing any tricky friend situations right now?
Tracey is originally from South Wales. She worked as a teacher until her first daughter was born, when she left teaching to spend time being a “mum.” She later returned to working at a school, where she delivered a specialist literacy program and helped students who had been out of school long-term with illness reintegrate into the school system. This experience sparked her own interest in writing. Today, she lives in what she calls an ancient cottage in a “hidden valley surrounded by sheep, wild deer and cows with big fluffy ears!”
For Peter and Sally, with love.
Massini’s charmingly textured and colorful illustrations have a pleasing sense of spaciousness but don’t rescue this title from banality and tedium . . . Boy and bear will have to work a bit harder to compete.