A little bear reflects on friendship.
An anthropomorphic brown bear cub acts as protagonist and narrator of this simple celebration of friendship. From one spread to the next the cub interacts with different characters, designated as different kinds of friends based on those interactions. An “old friend” is a toy found at home; “a new friend” is a bird encountered outside in a tree; “party friends” (an anthropomorphic fox and bunny) come to celebrate a birthday; “a sad friend” is that same bunny after the cub spills water on its painting; “class friends” are those found at school. The digital illustrations of these varied friends depict them with oversized, round heads that give them a toylike appearance, and the palette is bright and cheery. The simplicity of the forms Taylor uses to construct his compositions lend many pages a distinctly retro look. These pictures, rather than the rather bland text that concludes with an affirmation that “all” of the cub’s friends “are best friends,” will hold the book’s appeal for readers.
Not the best—but just fine. (Picture book. 2-4)