cover image First Star: A Bear and Mole Story

First Star: A Bear and Mole Story

Will Hillenbrand. Holiday House, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8234-3760-3

Unlikely best friends Bear and Mole—childlike and adorably dressed in patchy overalls—climb to Camp Tiptop to “see the stars turn on.” Through their caring, clear communication, Hillenbrand conveys the distinctive dynamics of the pair’s relationship. Once they sets up camp, Mole becomes anxious about the dark, so Bear tells him a legend of the “First Star,” with dreamlike, successive spreads showing “First Father Bear,” “First Mother Bear,” and “First Baby Bear” shaping the moon and stars from clay to light the dark night. Hillenbrand’s artwork exudes warmth—even as night falls and Bear and Mole are surrounded by deep, indigo blue. Hillenbrand offers a tender depiction of two friends on an adventure that is almost—but not quite—scary with a story within a story that will stir readers’ imaginations. Ages 3–6. (May)