A bear and a hummingbird in an odd-couple animal friendship.
Hector is a Peruvian bear who is “mostly” best friends with Hummingbird. Hector is generally patient with his friend, but the little bird can be really annoying as he tries to copy all of Hector’s actions. Whether he is eating an apple, scratching against a tree, or merely trying to sleep, Hummingbird is there with incessant questions and chatter. After finally issuing an ultimatum, Hector is alone at last. But he discovers that solitude is not as satisfying as he thought it would be, and he finds he misses his little friend. Of course Hummingbird has been watching all along, and there is a “mostly” joyful reunion. The Peruvian forest and the two characters splash out into an unexpected palette of mid-20th-century-modern green, pink, turquoise, and brown. The narration and most of Hector’s speech appear in the large white spaces around and amid the forest, while Hummingbird’s words are placed within trapezoidal boxes in the same colors of the forest and arranged to reflect his staccato comments. Frith has created a visually stunning work, and young readers who look closely will find a forest teeming with wildlife hidden in plain sight. The tale is simple and universal, the setting is fresh, and it all works.
Lovely. (Picture book. 3-8)