Erin Eitter Kono
For ages 4 to 6
Penguin, 2016, 978-0-8037-4132-4
Bear lives “at the top of the world” in a place that is covered with white ice and snow. Though there is beauty in his white homeland, Bear longs to see color, and gets very depressed because there is no color to be seen where he lives.
Bear’s friends do their best to cheer him up, and when that doesn’t work a passing seagull decides to help. The seagull visits a little girl it knows and she sends Bear a colorful picture of a rainbow. The gift delights Bear, but it does not “take away his discontent.”
When the little girl gets Bear’s thank you note, she decides that she needs to go to see him. Across the ocean she goes in a little boat and when she gets to the frozen, white north she tells the bear that she knows what he needs. She is going to take him on a trip.
Together the little girl and the bear sail around the world and see many wondrous, and colorful, things, and the bear paints color-rich pictures of the things he sees. Each of his paintings are then placed in an envelope and they are sent off, via the seagull, to an unknown destination.
All too often there are wonderful things in front of our eyes that we simply do not see because we don’t know how to. It would appear that there are ways of seeing that are not always accessible to us at first.
This wonderful picture book explores a bear’s journey as he learns how to see, how to be open, and how to set aside discontent so that his eyes and heart are able to ‘see’ the world in a new way.