The Best Bear in All the World

BRIGHT, Paul, Brian Sibley, Jeanne Willis, & . illus. by Mark Burgess. 128p. ebook available. Dutton. Oct. 2016. Tr $21.99. ISBN 9780399187476.
RedReviewStarGr 2–5—As Winnie-the-Pooh turns 90 years old, four respected children's authors have imagined entertaining new adventures for the iconic bear and his friends. Echoing the voice of A.A. Milne and illustrated in the style of E.H. Shepard, this new volume invites readers to "join Winnie-the-Pooh for a year of adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood." In autumn, Pooh and Piglet fear a "mithickle" dragon is about to invade the forest. The chronicle continues into winter, when a shy and proper penguin who needs "Bringing Out of Himself" visits. In spring, Eeyore worries that "Another Donkey" has come to steal his thistles. Finally, Pooh and Piglet go in search of "the Sauce" of the river that runs through the Wood in summer. With the assistance of Christopher Robin and his animal friends, Pooh optimistically stumps through the forest seeking a solution to each tale's dilemma. The changing seasons are captured in idyllic, sunlit illustrations sprinkled throughout the text. Beginning with the eye-catching endpapers, Burgess deftly portrays life in the Hundred Acre Wood and the friendship enjoyed by Pooh, Piglet, and all the other familiar characters. The evocative visuals perfectly complement the gentle and amusing narrative. In an engaging afterword, Bright, Sibley, Willis, Saunders, and Burgess reflect on their childhood memories of the "Bear of Little Brain."
VERDICT Replete with Pooh's wise insights about the simple things in life, this collection will delight a new generation of readers.

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