Lulu and Max hold a field-day competition for the animals to determine the leader of the forest, but is being a good sport more important than winning?
On the way, Lulu explains to Max that they may have to help the animals who lose, as they may be sad or mad, and this turns out to be prophetic. Coyote wins the costume contest with his wings, but this causes Goose to cry—her wings are real, after all. Lulu says what’s important is trying your best and remembering that, no matter what, you are loved. But it’s Bear-Bear who really proves his skills throughout the day, saying just the right thing, helping to clean up, pointing out what needs to get done and doing it, and forgiving Coyote when he forgets to be a good sport and a good friend. Clearly, Bear-Bear is the best choice for leader of the forest. Christy’s softly colored illustrations feature adorable animals in a woodland setting. There’s a fuzzy quality to the artwork that lends it some texture and whimsy. In a letter to parents, Terkeurst explains that “one of the greatest lessons a parent can teach…is how to navigate life’s wins and losses.” She points out that God has a plan in mind for each of us, and a list of Scripture memory verses on the endpapers (unseen) will help kids remember this.
Didactic? To be sure, but it’s a much-needed lesson that goes down easily. (Picture book. 3-8)