The Best Bear in All the World – Paul Bright, Brian Sibley, Jeanne Willis, Kate Saunders, decorations by Mark Burgess

51jldyx2pwl  The Best Bear in All the World – Paul Bright, Brian Sibley, Jeanne Willis, Kate Saunders, decorations by Mark Burgess, Dutton Children’s Books, (9780399187476), 2016

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1- 5 (5 is excellent or a Starred review)  4

Genre:   Animal stories

What did you like about the book?   The Trustees of the Pooh Properties and The Shepard Trust commissioned four English authors to write a sequel to the original Winnie-the-Pooh stories by A.A. Milne and illustrated by E. H. Shepard in honor of the 90th anniversary of the books.  The four stories, each by one of the authors, are set throughout the seasons: “AUTUMN in which Pooh and Piglet prepare to meet a Dragon,” “WINTER in which Penguin arrives in the Forest,” “SPRING in which Eeyore suspects Another Donkey is after his thistles, “ and “SUMMER in which Pooh dreams of the Sauce of the Nile.”  Readers will find the beloved characters up to their usual doings with Pooh on the lookout for honey, Piglet trying to be brave, Eeyore being gloomy, Tigger bouncing, Owl pontificating, Rabbit worrying, along with motherly Kanga, exuberant Roo, and of course, Christopher Robin.  Readers will find the stories and the color illustrations to be very respectful to the originals.  In an Afterword, each author and the illustrator talk about their love of the Pooh classics and what inspired their new stories.  The book includes a blue ribbon bookmark attached in the spine.  Like the originals, this is a perfect bedtime read aloud and readers will enjoy the chance to once again visit the inhabitants of The Hundred Acre Wood.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  There was one instance where the illustrations did not match the text.  In “Winter,”  Christopher Robin has gone tobogganing.  “‘I said, I’d gone tobogganing!’ he explained, and pointed to something made of wood that was flat with a turned-up end and was gleaming with shiny, new red paint against the snow.”  The illustration depicts a wooden sled with red runners instead of a toboggan.  This may bother some readers.  

To whom would you recommend this book? Fans of the original tales by A.A. Milne will likely welcome these new adventures.

Who should buy this book?  Public libraries and elementary school libraries

Where would you shelve it? Fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this at the top of our “to read” piles? Yes, if you love Pooh.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City:  Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

Date of review:  1/30/17             

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