Review: Bella Loves Bunny and Ben Loves Bear by David McPhail

bella loves bunny ben loves bear

Bella Loves Bunny by David McPhail

Ben Loves Bear by David McPhail

A pair of charming board books from veteran author and illustrator McPhail, these casebound books closely echo picture book structure but have sturdy board pages that will stand up to toddler use.  The stories mirror each other, following the child from waking up for a day of play through to bedtime. 

Bella’s story feels more passive than Ben’s, but I think that is because Bunny is not depicted as energetically as Bear is.  Children who have favorite stuffed animals who accompany them throughout their day will find kindred spirits on these pages.  The stuffed animals are living and breathing here, the story filled with a quiet imagination.  As always, McPhail’s illustrations have a wonderful depth of color and fine lines.  They manage to be dreamy but realistic at the same time.

Good additions to library board book collections, these are books that are gentle and joyful.  Appropriate for ages 1-3.

Bella Loves Bunny was received from Abrams for review.  Ben Loves Bear was reviewed from library copy.