I recall reading The Best-Loved Bear to many, many groups of delighted pre-schoolers in my public library days.
I am delighted to see that Toby the Bear has survived – remarkably agelessly – at least 20 years, maybe more!
Diana Noonan’s new story stands on its own as a lovely, family-oriented, celebratory tale about Tim and his indispensable bear. The illustrations by Elizabeth Fuller are simple and effective.
Tim’s family – even Gran ( I find this more than a little disconcerting, as Gran is later depicted as a snorkelling grandma, so a flight to the islands clearly would not be a problem for her!) are off to a family wedding. Offshore. Tim’s big challenge is how to take Toby. Various methods of transporting Toby are presented and discarded, Toby all the while becoming more and more dishevelled. Suffice to say that, once the problem is solved, all the dishevellment miraculously disappears and Tim (and of course Toby) reign triumphant.
It’s a great little story and my quibbles are minor, and from a grandma-aged perspective. I enjoyed it and I think kids will too.
I am about to test my theory on a young friend. I believe my opinion will be upheld. If you have not yet discovered Diana Noonan and the bear, it’s time you did.
by Susan Esterman
The Best-Behaved Bear
by Diana Noonan