Author: Cullum, Jared
Katya and her Meema are spending another summer at their cottage in Alaska, when a chance accident leaves Katya face-to-face with the biggest creature she's ever seen ... an enormous Kodiak bear with a gentle heart and a knack for fishing. In graphic novel format.
School Library Journal (+) (00/05/20)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (+) (00/07/20)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 05/01/2020 Gr 3 Up—The gift of friendship comes in many forms, and here, it takes the immense, fuzzy form of a wounded Kodiak bear. After shy, bookish Katya encounters Kodi with a leg pinned under a fallen tree in the woods near her grandma's Alaskan cabin and nurses him to health, the two become bonded for life. When Katya abruptly returns to Seattle, Kodi makes an epic journey to find his best friend. The bare bones of the story are familiar, but whimsical twists pull readers into Kodi's quest quickly, even with the near certainty of a happy ending. Cullum's rich watercolors, perfectly blended on rough textured paper, capture Alaskan wilderness and Seattle's urban grit with equal beauty and accuracy. The relative sparseness of dialogue and narration makes this a great addition to the adorably anthropomorphic animal genre. It's not always easy to communicate convincingly without dialogue, but our understanding of Kodi's feelings, motives, and personality becomes richer as the story progresses. VERDICT Beautifully crafted, thoughtfully paced, and sweet as can be, this tale is ideal for reluctant and voracious readers alike, to be savored and shared between friends young, old, and in between.—Emilia Packard, Austin, TX - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 05/15/2020 Young Katya spends her summers at Meema’s Alaska cabin, where she’s urged to put down her comics, get out, and make friends. Forced to take a trip into town, Katya is then hurried home by an incoming storm—and an accidental fall leaves her face to face with an enormous bear trapped under a fallen tree. After Meema and Katya free the bear, dubbed Kodi, it bonds to the young girl, but when an emergency forces her to fly home to the city, Kodi decides to set off, with the help of a young fisherman, after his new friend. Cullum’s story has the heart and cartoony realism of a Pixar film, with the large, Baloo-like bear depicted with soft, friendly curves and a boop-able nose. Whimsical illustrations lend an extra lightness to the story, with splotchy watercolors, beautifully textured, filtering panels with a calming haze, especially those of the natural landscapes, which stand out in spectacular fashion. A sweet tale of friendship for those just learning how to make friends. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.