The Christmas Teddy Bear

Ivan Gantschev, Author, Gantshev, Author, I. Gantshev, Author NorthSouth $14.95 (1p) ISBN 978-1-55858-349-8

Clearly a labor of love, Gantschev's warm tale has its roots in his childhood in Bulgaria. Soothing watercolors feature hushed blues and grays punctuated with splashes of brighter hues; they convey the atmosphere and mime the plot. Two days before Christmas, Ellen and her mother travel to a large estate where Grandpa and Grandma live in the caretaker's cottage. The following morning, Grandpa walks into town to buy sugar for his wife-and a large teddy bear for Ellen. On the way home, snow begins to fall heavily, and he becomes lost in the storm. As it turns out, the bear's red cap serves as a beacon to help locate the missing man, making it a special Christmas present indeed. The same can be said for this fetching book. Ages 5-8. (Nov.)
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