A hare whose heart is in the right place helps a grouchy bear solve his problem and makes a new friend in the process.
Patch the Hare is one of those friends who’s underappreciated. He’s clumsy, getting in the way of his friends’ preparations for winter (the text says it’s winter, though some of the animals are making berry jam), and despite his buddies’ warnings, he can’t be scared of the big, grumpy bear—he is empathetic to a fault. While Mouse, Squirrel, and Fox hide and wonder what the bear might do to them, Patch decides to feed him, thinking that might solve the bear’s grumblings. But klutziness, a scooter, and a huge stack of blueberry-and-onion sandwiches don’t go together very well. Luckily, hunger isn’t the bear’s problem—Patch discovers he’s cold. The hare’s solution suits his name, though it doesn’t at first meet the approval of his friends…until they learn to empathize with the bear and see how touched he is by their generosity. Julian’s illustrations, which appear to be watercolor, are adorable, his animals sporting clothing and acting like people. The bright, rich colors will keep readers’ attention, and the final spread couldn’t get much cozier, especially when shared on a cold winter day, snuggled in pajamas under a warm blanket, and surrounded by loved ones.
Patch and his new bear friend would be right at home with Karma Wilson’s Bear. (Picture book. 3-8)