The Bear and the Moon
Author: Matthew Burgess
Illustrator: Catia Chien
Ages 3-5 (PS-K)
The bear is enchanted by the simple pleasures of playing with a balloon, and proceeds to show his new playmate his home.
I’m going to tell you right away, no burying the lede here, the only flaw of this gorgeous little book is the title. I don’t have a better one for the author though – The Bear, The Balloon, and the All-Knowing Moon? The Bear and His Big Feelings? The Bear Learns Not to Give In to Guilt? Maybe The Bear and the Moon is fine after all.
Our hero is a sweet little bear, who one day chances to come across a red balloon. (Why are they always red? If you don’t have “99 Luftballons” in your head, you are not as old as I am.) The bear is enchanted by the simple pleasures of playing with a balloon, and proceeds to show his new playmate his home.
“All the while, the floating red thing smiled back at him like a friend.
It dipped and breezed and bumped against the bear’s cheek.”
But the balloon is only a balloon, and the inevitable happens. The bear is devastated, and devastatingly, heartbreakingly, blames himself. He is miserable until the bright moon shines a light on the situation, and the bear can be at peace.
I’m not sure I can recall a picture book that tackles the emotion of guilt and its sneaky lies. But author Matthew Burgess and illustrator Catia Chien have written a whopper of one that manages to be gorgeous, and wise, and loving, and gentle. This book is a must-have for school and home libraries – highly, highly recommend.
More books for this Age Group can be found here.
My thanks to Chronicle Books for providing a Review Copy of this book. All opinions provided herein are my own.
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