cover image Love, Your Bear Pete

Love, Your Bear Pete

Dyan Sheldon. Candlewick Press (MA), $13.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-56402-332-2

After Brenda accidentally leaves her blue teddy bear, Pete, on the bus, her mother phones the lost and found, but to no avail. Brenda mopes, but three days later, she gets a surprise: a postcard from Pete, sent from London. ``He must have gotten on a different bus,'' says Brenda's mother. Although Brenda misses Pete, she looks forward to his correspondence, which issues from such cities as Paris, Moscow and Nairobi and is always affectionately signed ``Love, Your Bear Pete.'' And never fear--a happy reunion closes the book, although it doesn't solve the mystery of the teddy bear's adventures. Hurt-Newton, making her picture book debut, works in a lively palette of acrylics; she contrasts scenes of Brenda at home--playing with a dog, lying on her bed to read, seated at the breakfast table--with postcards and spreads depicting Pete's international destinations. Choppy black outlines give Hurt-Newton's work the look of block prints, and overlapping images add constant variety. Enterprising kids can find a casual geography lesson in Sheldon's ( The Whales' Song ) adventuresome and appealingly enigmatic tale. Ages 3-up. (Mar.)