Make a Wish, Henry Bear

illus. by Liam Francis Walsh. 40p. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter Bks. Apr. 2019. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781626723320.
RedReviewStarPreS-Gr 2—Henry Bear is living the dream. His parents insist that he bring toys to school in case it's boring and that he eat chocolate cake for every meal. He can't even get to school on time because he has to help them draw on the walls. Henry begs for some order, but the fun is relentless. Then a new little bear, hijab-wearing Marjani, starts at school and has just the right plan for getting things back on track. With its large font and easy-to-read and relatable story, Walsh's latest offering is a perfect addition to picture book shelves. The appealing mixed-media illustrations wonderfully complement the story; an appended note explains that Swiss towns inspired the images, and the sepia-toned cartoons in fall colors show a cozy village that will feel familiar to fairy tale readers. The presence of gentle Marjani in her colorful hijab is the icing on the cake.
VERDICT A must-have read-aloud or read-alone choice.

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