THE SHARING BEAR | Kirkus Reviews

The story begins with a quote attributed to the Buddha: “Give, even if you only have a little.” A shaggy, yellow bear effectively models this behavior after “coming back from the store / With a tasty watermelon in tow.” By a lake, the bear settles in to enjoy his treat when a hungry friend, Mr. Squirrel, greets him. The bear gives him half the melon, and when another pal, Mr. Moose, appears, the bear happily gives him the other half. A bird, who’s witnessed all this, asks him about his giving away his last piece of melon, which allows the bear—and author Schustrin—to earnestly and simply deliver the book’s lesson about how sharing feels good. This message is also clearly reflected in the glow of veteran illustrator Island’s bright color palette—sunny yellow, shades of purple, pink, and blue and a recurring lotus blossom motif—which adds interest to the cozy animal characters. That said, children who are just learning the names for colors may be confused when a character named Ms. Bluebird is pictured as pink. Further volumes of Schustrin’s Wise Baby book series, which aims to introduce kids to elements of “universal wisdom,” are planned.

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