Sunday, June 16, 2013

Bedtime Book Review: The Perfect Bear

Probably one of my favorite books to read to my daughter is "The Perfect Bear" by Gillian Shields and illustrated by Gary Blythe. Not only is this book touching and heartfelt, the illustrations are just phenomenal. I don't think there's another children's book that has made me cry (well maybe Sylvester and the Magic Pebble too).

Here's what google books has to say:
Shields's affecting tale chronicles an arrogant toy's transition from revered object to beloved companion. Upon his arrival at the home of a young girl, the stuffed bear—very conscious and proud of his immaculate finery—is appalled when his new owner wants to actually play with him. With sly humor Shields details the bear's disgruntled indignation as he endures being splashed with paint, given an impromptu bath and the like. However, when the now shabby bear becomes separated from his girl in a store, he experiences an epiphany, discovering that a person's—or stuffed bear's—worth cannot be measured by such superficial merits as their appearance. Blythe's full-color oil paintings are brimming with rich detail and texture. His expressive illustrations of bear employ subtle nuances, which perfectly illuminate the bear's persona and his emotional transformation. At the center of this whimsical tale is a gently reassuring message regarding the nature of love and acceptance that young readers will embrace.

Gary Blythe brings life to a stuffed bear and makes us believe that a little girl loves him and in the end he loves her in return. I can't say enough good things about this artist. He has a wonderful style. You can see more of his work here. He has some weird stuff going on too. This is his full portfolio. You can see many of the images from the book in his general portfolio.

So I highly recommend this book for anyone who likes a good story and isn't afraid to shed a tear over a children's book. Any good children's books that made you cry?

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