Bear may be big enough for school, but that doesn’t mean he has to do everything by himself now.
Bear is excited and proud to be going to school for the first time. He has a big-bear backpack with pockets for each of his school supplies: his lunchbox, glue, pencil case, and crayons. But there’s no place for Floppy, his stuffed bunny. Readers with their own beloved stuffies will intuitively sense what the story’s problem will be from Bear’s sad glance back at Floppy, who is sitting propped up on Bear’s windowsill. Sure enough, “something—or someone—was missing,” and Bear doesn’t color or eat snack or nap with his classmates. Miss Fox notices and asks what the matter is. Bear figures he’s just not ready for school yet, but she tells him that “even big teachers need help sometimes.” Together, they use craft supplies to fashion a pocket for Floppy, and Bear enjoys the second day doing big-bear things with Floppy securely in his backpack (alongside the stuffed pals of Bear’s classmates). Yoon’s digital illustrations use bold black lines, simple shapes, and bright colors to focus attention on the characters, and Bear’s feelings are evident. His classmates include a lamb, a moose, and a panda (who eats snack with chopsticks).
Going to school doesn’t mean leaving childhood behind; stuffed lovies have a place still. (Picture book. 3-6)