Hello, friends! Our book today is The Best Gift for Bear by Jennifer A. Bell, a charming, holiday-themed tale about the true meaning of friendship.
Hedgehog has spent a long winter’s morning baking and decorating sweet treats for all her friends – snowflakes for the mice, tree for the squirrels, and a whole batch of gingerbread rabbits for her bunny pals. She has one gift left to make, and it has to be special and grand, just like it’s recipient: her best friend Bear. Seeing the snow on her roof, she is struck with inspiration, and creates a massive cookie concoction that is sure to blow Bear away. Yet on the long and snowy journey to Bear’s house, the weather is kicking up some blustery chills, and Hedgehog isn’t sure she and her gift are going to make it intact! Will Hedgehog be able to present Bear with a gift worthy of her wonderful friend?
Deliciously sweet. Bell does a fabulous job of creating a story that centers around classic themes of friendship and giving without feeling stale or trite. Hedgehog and Bear’s story is gentle yet engaging, perfectly-paced, and beautifully drawn. While some of the visual elements are Christmas-coded, the actual holiday isn’t specifically mentioned, giving a more inclusive “season of giving” framework to the plot. And the resolution is particularly sweet, and a great lesson on the importance of caring relationships over material things. The length is perfect for a storytime, and JJ loved it. Overall, a great way to reinforce the true spirit of the holidays while warming the heart, and we highly recommend it – Baby Bookworm approved.
(Note: A copy of this book was provided to the Baby Bookworm by a representative of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)