cover image Ben Loves Bear

Ben Loves Bear

David McPhail. Abrams Appleseed, $8.95 (22p) ISBN 978-1-4197-0386-7

McPhail gives readers an intimate view of the friendship between a small boy and his stuffed (but very active) bear. No adults appear—the only other character is a bluebird that pops up occasionally. McPhail’s prose is stripped to the bare essentials, gently rocking back and forth between the friends: “Ben tickles Bear. Bear laughs. Bear does tricks. Ben laughs, too.” Theirs is a soft, comforting world of cereal and honey breakfasts, hide and seek, and quiet bedtime reading. McPhail’s quiet, pastel-hued paintings ensure that readers will be glad to revisit Ben and Bear. Ages 2–4. Agent: Faith Hamlin, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Jan.)