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Willa and the Bear

Philomena O'Neill

46 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1454925736 / ISBN 13: 9781454925736
Published by Sterling Children's Books, 2017
New Condition: New Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Willa and the Bear

Publisher: Sterling Children's Books

Publication Date: 2017

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

About this title

Synopsis:

More than anything, Willa adores her ragdoll, Rosie, made by her grandmother just for her. Together, through the seasons, Willa and Rosie picnic, pick berries and jump in piles of leaves. But one winter's day, on a snowy, bumpy sleigh ride to Grandma's birthday dinner, Rosie falls out of the wagon and no one notices until it's too late. Willa is inconsolable - and not even a new gift (a handmade teddy bear) from Grandma helps. Unbeknownst to the family, a black bear finds Rosie and keeps her safe and sound. The bear delivers Rosie to Grandma and Grandpa's cottage, but Willa is the only one who sees him. On the journey home, Willa spots a familiar shadow in the distance and finds a way to thank the special friend who returned her doll. With its charming folk-style illustrations, this beautiful picture book will warm the heart of every child who has ever had a favourite, beloved toy.

Review:

"During a nighttime sleigh ride to visit her grandparents, young Willa discovers an unknown friend, an ursine guardian who protects her dearest possession--a small rag doll handmade by her Grandma Bibbie. The winter setting in a northern forest features a variety of illustration sizes, including small portrait views of Willa's happy play, a tunnel view of the snowy trail ahead between the ears of a horse, and larger full-page or spread views with varying perspective. Shadows and light illuminate human emotions, the love of family, or the emptiness of a dark and vast forest. Willa suddenly loses her doll with an unfortunate bounce of the sled. But she has an unexpected follower: a large black bear, fascinated by the doll and the little girl who lost it. A nighttime visit, beautifully painted watercolor and acrylics, the softness of snow lightly touched by the soft blue of paw prints, a child's emotions, and the love surrounding family and a not-so-wild animal visitor create a sweet tale for the very young told with the immediacy of present tense. VERDICT A lovely bedtime read-aloud recommended for first purchase." --School Library Journal

"On a ride to Grandma Bibbie's birthday celebration, young Willa's beloved rag doll, Rosie, is lost in the dark woods then comes back in an unexpected way.After the horse-drawn sleigh hits a bump and Rosie flies out into the snow, Willa and her parents stop to search--but the sun is going down, and they must get on. After they leave, a bear finds the doll, puts it on his back and pads along behind. When Willa arrives at her grandparents' cabin she is presented with a small sewn bear that matches Grandpa's new trousers. Catching sight of the real bear through the window she cries a warning, but when Papa cracks the door to peer out he finds only Rosie on the doorstep. Later, on the way home, Willa leaves the toy bear in the snow in exchange. "My friend will love you," she whispers...and indeed, the last scene is a view of the live bear, curled in his den, clutching the cloth one. Unlikely as the episode may be, it has a cozy feel that O'Neill's paintings, which strongly resemble Garth Williams' Little House illustrations in settings and homespun style, amplify. The human figures are all white, ruddy of cheek, and dressed in country clothing; the snuffling bear is depicted with comfortably shaggy and rotund naturalism. A sweet tale of giving and giving back." --Kirkus Reviews

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