Evie Bear is worried about moving from her city home to the country.
As the young bear, clad in a red-striped dress, and her overalls-wearing dad load up their red truck, she plaintively asks: “Why do we have to move?” and “how will I make new friends?” Her father speaks philosophically about change and then couches his statement in immediately understandable language: “If nothing changed, there would be no more birthday parties.” He advises Evie to “start with a smile” when meeting people. After camping overnight they pull up at their cozy new house with its tiled roof, arched door, and wreath of flowers. As her belongings fit into place, Evie feels at home. Her gentle dad helps her to understand a universal truth: “Home is people who love you. Home is me and you,” but there is a slight visual puzzle. When Dad holds up a photograph of three bears, they both smile faintly, but who is the third bear? Perhaps it is Evie’s other parent, but Dad and Evie are clearly a family of two. Did the other bear die? The mixed-media illustrations include detailed, deeply colored paintings with much to look at in the backgrounds. Dad and Evie’s loving relationship outshines the clichéd textual sentiments.
With its rich visuals and workmanlike text, this picture book can be read aloud to children who must adjust to a new home at an early age. (Picture book. 3-6)