Could the bear have a secret friend? Who is leaving him surprises? The ever-lovable Daniel Pinkwater spins a funny and sweetly offbeat story.
One morning, the bear finds something just outside his cave. It is orange and long and pointy and has bushy green leaves at one end. And it’s sweet and crunchy! Where did it come from? Did someone leave it for him? Then there are two more of the sweet crunchy things the next morning! The bear knows that someone nice is leaving him these treats. If only he could discover who it is! Should he leave something tasty in return? With the help of Will Hillenbrand’s endearing illustrations, the inimitable Daniel Pinkwater spins a charming little mystery about unexpected kindnesses and finding that extra-special someone.
Hillenbrand’s soft earth-toned illustrations give us a sense of a cozy natural setting while his ragged bold lines give Bear a scruffy edge that keeps the story from being overly sweet. They are a perfect match for Pinkwater’s text, which is child-friendly in its predictable and sprightly repetition, with just a tinge of adult humor now and then. All of these ingredients will make it perfect for reading aloud, either to groups or to an audience of one, again and again. —The Horn Book
A friendly little whodunit results in an unexpected romance between a bear and a bunny… There’s lots to love here. —Kirkus Reviews
The bear and the rabbit are very appealing, and the book as a whole begs to be read in storytime, possibly with other tales of unusual friendships. —School Library Journal
This friendship tale has cozy charm in spades; the gift-exchange plot is sweet, and the bear’s unassuming, childlike dialogue and taste for singing little songs to himself will win young listeners (and remind them of Winnie-the-Pooh). —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
The simple story’s design is nicely romanticized, with full-bleed, lightly sketched forest backgrounds spread out over long pages, with the placid action depicted in mixed-media browns and greens with gentle highlights. The book’s Pooh-like charm protects it from preciousness and makes for a tender tale about the satisfaction to be found in a fond, contented relationship. —Booklist
Extra-special could describe the book itself. —Kirkus Reviews Children’s Blog