Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman
The Bear series by Karma Wilson continues to impress with its latest entry. There are only a few children’s picture book series that have maintained the quality of both writing and illustration as this series has. In this latest tale, Bear has an idea to create a big feast and invite his friends over to share. The only problem is that Bear has nothing in his cupboard at all. Mouse shows up with a pie to share, and Bear says “Thanks!” Bear continues to fret that he has nothing to share when Hare pops by with a batch of muffins to share. Badger then arrives with fish, Gopher and Mole bring warm honey nuts, and Owl, Raven and Wren have herbs for tea and pears to munch. But with no food to offer at all, what in the world can Bear give his friends?
I’ve always enjoyed the rhythm of this series and the repetition that makes them ideal to read aloud to toddlers. There is also a wonderful friendly warmth to the books, captured both by the colors of the illustrations and the story itself. That same warmth is here, friends offering food and sharing time with one another with no expectations. Chapman’s illustrations stay true to the series, offering pictures large enough to share with a group.
While this book is perfect for Thanksgiving story times, I’d also use it throughout the year when talking about sharing. This is a bear’s den that any of us would love to crawl into and spend some time in no matter what time of year it is. Appropriate for ages 2-4.
Reviewed from copy received from Margaret K. McElderry Books.