Megumi and the bear by Irma Gold

cover image

Ill. by Craig Phillips. Walker Books, 2013. ISBN 9781821977909.
(Age: 4+) Picture book. Friendship. As Megumi collects fir cones in the forest at the bottom of her garden she meets a bear who asks her to be his friend.
They do everything together, playing hide and seek, dancing, snowboarding over a ramp, so much so that Magumi does not want to let the bear go.
But when she goes down to the end of the garden again, he is not there. She wishes on the falling star that he will come to her, but it doesn't happen. None of the activities she is usually involved in can take his place. Playing hide and seek with the other children does not help, it only increases the weight in her heart. But she keeps wishing, and her friend does return. A gentle story which looks at differing styles of friendship, this may be a neat introduction to class discussions about friendship, imaginary friends and wishing.
In beautiful soft watercolour, the illustrations shine on each page. The trees shimmer in the snow, their browns and blues standing out from the starkness of the white surrounding them.
Fran Knight