The Invisible Bear

Tundra. Aug. 2020. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780735266872.
Gr 1-3–A bear feels invisible, seen by no one. He lives in a gray world with a personal raincloud overhead until the day color arrives in the form of a neighbor. Madame Odette lives in a “cheerful world of color and sound” doing everyday things like talking on the phone, cooking, and gardening. The bear is able to leave his dreary world when he helps Madame Odette water her flowers; then they gently embrace. The pair become fond of each other, able to share color and light sometimes tinged with gray. Their friendship changes them both forever, even on the morning that began as any other when “Madame Odette was gone.” She simply floats off the page with her much-loved dragonflies. Readers recognize, however, that her gift to the bear will sustain him. Gentle illustrations in soft hues effectively illustrate this subtle tale of depression, loss, and the healing power of affection. The art moves from translucent grays to color in beautifully rendered watercolor and ink.
VERDICT A beautiful yet subtle depiction of the restorative power of companionship.

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