Even youngest readers will predict what a turn of the page will bring when they absorb the opening scene: Honey Bear sits despondently on a rock, wondering if everyone except his mother has forgotten his birthday. ""Surprise!"" shouts his furry extended family and best friend as Mother brings out a birthday cake garnished with leaves and berries. As the young bear wonders what to wish for, each member of the party makes a suggestion in which they have a vested interest (e.g., his sister tells him, ""Wish for lots of time to play. Especially with me""; his father advocates a wish ""for a big salmon the next time we go fishing""). In a limited palette of greens, browns and grays, Pfister (The Rainbow Fish) depicts each of these would-be wishes coming true. Finally, Honey Bear makes his own wish--""that all his birthdays could be as happy as this one!""--adding a final dollop of honey to this treacly tale. Ages 5-8. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/30/1999 Release date: 09/01/1999 Genre: Children's
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