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BEAR AND BIRD by James Skofield


by James Skofield, illustrated by Jennifer Thermes

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: March 15th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-58536-835-8
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Old Bear and baby Bird become close friends.

After Bear returns unsuccessful fledgling Bird to his nest, they forge a friendship based on a strong commitment to helping each other find the best berries and avoid hunters. They are sad when Bird flies off for the winter, but Bear hibernates, and come spring, their friendship resumes. And so it goes for a few years, but then age begins to catch up with Bear. Sadly, Bird migrates south, and when he returns, he cannot find Bear. Instead, he finds Bear’s granddaughter, who explains to him that Bear has died. The granddaughter bear helps Bird through his grief by encouraging him to remember the good times that they shared. A new friendship emerges as Bird shows Bear’s granddaughter the way to the best berries. Skofield’s writing is tender and, with adult guidance, accessible to young readers who may be dealing with the death of an elderly loved one. His narrative features short sentences and frequent conversations between the animals. Thermes’ watercolor art, both full-page and spot, is bright and inviting, highlighting the contrast in size between the animals.

A good title to share when talking about death with children. (Picture book. 4 -7)