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This story will undoubtedly be celebrated for its lessons on honesty and responsibility, but that’s not giving Yoon (Penguin in Love) enough credit: it’s also a thoughtful, flawlessly executed exploration of theory of mind and emotional intelligence. A bear cub finds an abandoned toy stuffed rabbit, which promptly finds its way into his heart (“Bear thought it was the most special thing he had ever seen”). As much as Bear wants to keep the bunny, he also empathizes with the “bunny’s family” (they “must be so worried”) and the cuddly but impassive bunny itself. It’s these feelings, rather than an obligatory or on-high dictate of “right and wrong,” that propel Bear on a comprehensive search for bunny’s owner—an impressive show of competence, thoroughness, and agency that also enables Bear to endure when the owner comes forward. Yoon’s simple, subtly textured shapes; bright colors; and eloquent, economic language invite readers to be part of the story without dictating how they should feel, making the happy ending all the more touching and satisfying. Ages 3–6. Agent: Jamie Weiss Chilton, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Apr.)
—Publishers Weekly STARRED Review

Bear finds a wonderful toy.
Bear clearly loves the toy bunny that he has found sitting up against a tree in the forest, but he wants to help it return to its home. With a wagon full of flyers and the bunny secure in Bear’s backpack, he festoons the trees with posters and checks out a bulletin board filled with lost and found objects (some of which will bring a chuckle to adult readers). Alas, he returns home still worried about bunny. The following day, they happily play together and ride Bear’s tricycle. Into the cozy little picture steps Moose, who immediately recognizes his bunny, named Floppy. Bear has a tear in his eye as he watches Moose and Floppy hug. But Moose, wearing a tie, is clearly grown and knows that it is time to share and that Bear will take very good care of his Floppy. Yoon’s story is sweet without being sentimental. She uses digitized artwork in saturated colors to create a lovely little world for her animals. They are outlined in strong black lines and stand out against the yellows, blues, greens and oranges of the background. She also uses space to great effect, allowing readers to feel the emotional tug of the story.
A winning tale about finding new friends.
—Kirkus Review

Question: Will books about lost toys ever go out of style? Answer: Does a bear skip in the woods? This one does, anyway, and he discovers an old stuffed rabbit. Well, that’s no good! He rushes home, designs a “Found” poster, and then posts cute little copies of it everywhere, from the tip-tops of trees to beneath the stream. For a long while, nothing happens—until one day a moose stops him with a cry of “Floppy, my bunny!” Here things take a poignant turn; Bear discovers he doesn’t want to return Floppy. It’s quite sad, until Moose, who is an adult (you can tell because he wears a tie, though nothing else), realizes that “special toys are meant to be passed on to someone special.” The story is as simple as can be, but the emotions behind it are complex, and Yoon’s bright, thick-lined digital illustrations reflect that—they’re both cute as heck and heartbreaking, and alternate between amusing panoramas and emotional close-ups. Knuffle Bunny fans, hark!
— Booklist Review

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