Suzanne Bloom has gifted her readers with a surprise that creates a friendly threesome – Fox, Goose, and Bear. Goose and Bear continue proving in this fourth installment that friendship is made through the give-and-take of the moment.
Kids of all ages love surprises, and so does Bloom’s trio. The tension that is created speaks to a common situation- someone feels left out. Although this is not a book for the holidays, it is a book that could easily be adapted to those circumstances where gift giving seems to be an expected behavior. And gifts that are handmade are special at any time of the year. But Bloom’s characters suggest that the real gift is the process in the closing line, “Let’s do it again!”
The closing line of the book shows great insight into the joy that children (and some of us adults) experience with many things. To “do it again” means many different things and it may even be repeated over and over till it grows old. To capture and recapture the joy and surprise of the unknown being made known is at the core of learning.
Parents and librarians serving early childhood populations will want to make sure to have this title available for early print experiences. The illustrative content also expresses joy and surprise in ways that will be identified by a young audience. But, heed this warning: be prepared to pull out the craft paper, scissors, glue and glitter to craft some of those gifts that will fill a memory box. This book will inspire creation, and with creation comes learning and sharing with others which makes life much more enjoyable.