The Little Bear (Nicola Killen)

Hello, friends! Our book today is The Little Bear by Nicola Killen, latest in the author-illustrator’s My Little Animal Friend series of charming, animal-themed adventures.

It’s the eve of the first day of school, and Ollie – known to fans of the series as an imaginative little girl who loves dressing up in animal costumes – is feeling a little nervous. After packing her backpack and practicing classroom behavior, she tries to drift to sleep, but is awoken by the call of an owl. Following the owl out into the woods, Ollie finds herself racing alongside more animals towards something – a little schoolhouse in the middle of the forest! There, she meets a little bear, a fellow student who is also feeling nervous about his first day. Ollie suggests that they stick together, and both students end up having a fun- and learning-filled evening of lessons.

Absolutely adorable. Fan of Killen’s series will be well-pleased with this entry, as it is filled with the wholesome energy, engaging text, and heartwarming illustrations of previous installments. Those new to Killen’s work will also find plenty to love, as the story explores a common kidlit theme – anxiety about starting school – in a cheerful, encouraging, and fresh way. The length is perfect for a storytime, and JJ enjoyed this sweet tale, especially the subtle cutouts and shiny gold accents in the artwork. Overall, a great back-to-school tale for little readers, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided by The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)