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|Letters from Bear|
Author: David, Gauthier
Bear sends updates on her adventures as she travels to visit Bird, who has migrated south for the winter.
Kirkus Reviews (+) (02/01/20)
School Library Journal (04/01/20)
Booklist (+) (03/01/20)
The Hornbook (00/05/20)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 03/01/2020 *Starred Review* Travel to a mysterious land where birds and bears can be the same size, shadowed forests pose vague threats, volcanoes erupt with human expressions, and animals hide in burned-out trees to escape the dangers of war. This land also has mermaids though, and a squirrel celebrating his 100th birthday with a party resembling a gentle “wild rumpus,” complete with costumed children dancing among wild boars, wolves, and lynxes. A melancholy bear shares her adventures as she forgoes hibernation in order to travel south in search of her friend, Bird, who has migrated away. The faithful bear sends letters—translated from the original French—from many places along the journey, capturing the highs and lows with a determined spirit. Caudry, whose paintings inspired the story, fills the pages with finely etched, dull-toned landscapes, inhabited by wondrous, wide-eyed creatures. In a twist worthy of O. Henry, Bear arrives on a warm island only to find that Bird, too, was unhappy being separated and went back north. Bird’s friends devise a nest-like conveyance to carry Bear home, a flight that provides a sweeping aerial view of the land Bear has traversed. With no further need for letters, the final two-page spread is a wordless, emotional embrace, with flowers and baby animals signaling the arrival of spring. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 04/01/2020 PreS-Gr 2—Written in a series of letters, this enchanting book blends adventure and friendship with a dreamy dose of Alice in Wonderland–esque happenings. Bird has headed south for the winter, and Bear, who just can't seem to face their separation or hunker down to hibernate, decides to venture join Bird "on the other side of the world." In a series of missives to be delivered by the wind, the intrepid traveler relates numerous exploits further illuminated by the detailed illustrations: Bear encounters huge tracks in a dark forest where menacing shadow figures shimmer in the background, is snagged in a fishing net and saved by a spell-casting mermaid, stumbles into a ghostly battlefield filled with sword-wielding warriors and neighing horses, attends a birthday party with all manner of creatures dressed in costume, crosses the sea in a hollowed-out tree trunk, and much more. Finally reaching Bird's tropical island, Bear discovers that his just-as-lonely friend has already headed back north, and makes return travel arrangements as dazzling as the rest of the escapades. VERDICT Readers will enjoy this journey filled with mystery and wonder, and perhaps be inspired to pen a letter to a loved one delineating their own amazing undertakings.—Joy Fleishhacker, Pikes Peak Library District, Colorado Springs - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.