cover image Dear Bear

Dear Bear

Joanna Harrison, Author, Joanna Harrison, Illustrator Carolrhoda Books $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-87614-839-6

Katie just knows that a scary bear lives in the closet under the stairs, waiting to ``jump out and grab her.'' At her mother's suggestion, she writes him a letter requesting that he go away. The next morning, she receives a reply, noting that Bear will follow her advice and take a much-needed vacation; an ominous P.S. reads: ``Back Monday.'' Further correspondence leads to an invitation to tea at Bear's lair. Opening the closet door at the appointed time, a timid Katie encounters an appetizing tea party spread out before a large stuffed bear, beside which lies a note asking Katie if it can come and live with her. Harrison's animated art, distinguished by refreshing, cheerful colors and lots of sunny details, plays a key role in the success of this entertaining and subtly reassuring story. The antics of Katie's cat, who makes an appearance on most pages, are particularly diverting. Ages 4-8. (Nov.)