by Salina Yoon
Walker Books, 2014
One day Bear finds a toy bunny in the forest which he thinks is “the most special thing he has ever seen.” But worried that the bunny’s family will be missing him, Bear sets out to find the bunny’s owner. As he works hard to return the bunny, he wishes more and more that he could keep him for his own. When the owner belatedly turns up, Bear faces a tough decision and gets a surprising offer.
This simple story is made special by the way Yoon’s understated text is illuminated by her bright, heavily outlined illustrations. The pictures bring out the cuteness, emotion, and humor of the tale. The yellow and green patches on Bunny’s stuffed body, his heart-shaped nose, and depictions of him riding in a backpack on Bear’s back make him as hard to resist to the reader as he is to Bear. Fun details reveal themselves upon re-reading, such as a little yellow canary that follows Bear throughout the story. The bulletin board of flyers for lost items is hilarious; captions include things like, “Lost: clown nose. Contact: Sad Clown.” “Lost: My train of thought…” “Lost in space. Send help!” Yoon’s well-chosen details are a joy to linger on in this charming tale of warmth and friendship. This would make a great read-aloud to a group.