Brave Bitsy and the Bear by Angela McAllister and Tiphanie Beeke.
Little Bitsy, a purple toy bunny, falls out of her girl’s pocket and gets lost in the woods. A huge brown bear finds her an agrees to help her get home before he goes to sleep for the winter. As the bear walks her home, he starts to drift off and fall asleep over and over again. Bitsy sings bouncy songs, marching songs, and even shouts to keep him awake. Once Bitsy is safely home, she begins to worry about the bear and whether he managed to make it safely to his warm cave before he fell asleep. So she takes a ball of red wool, ties one end to her garden gate, and heads off to make sure Bear is OK. She finds him asleep on the ground. He is cold and covered with snow. All of the animals hear her singing and work together to build bear a shelter right where he is sleeping.
This is a lovely story. I adored the fact that the tiny singing bunny and the huge bear show such care for one another. I also enjoyed the bravery of Bitsy heading back into the forest to see if her new friend was alright. The illustrations complete the circle of the book, filled with bright warmth whenever the friends are awake and together. They are also cold and grey when bear is in trouble.
This is a book that can inspire even the smallest of us to try to help, to go out of our way, and to care. It is a grand book to read aloud because of all of Bitsy’s singing. A tale of inspiring friendship, share Bitsy with preschoolers and kindergarteners for a great addition to bear, bunny or friendly storytimes.