When Cole asks his mother for a story about a bear, she shares a true tale, one forgotten by time. It all starts with Harry Colebourn, a veterinarian from Winnipeg, Manitoba. During World War I, Harry travels by train across Canada to care for soldiers’ horses. At one of these stops, Harry gets off to stretch his legs and sees a trapper with a bear cub. Noticing something special about the bear, Harry’s “heart made up his mind,” and he buys the bear for 20 dollars.
Emily Jenkins will bring out the foodie in any reader as she traces the preparation of blackberry fool through four centuries in A Fine Dessert. Starting in 1710 in Lyme, England, a mother and daughter pick wild blackberries from the field surrounding their cottage. Then begins the labor-intensive process that includes milking the cow, skimming the cream, beating the cream with twigs, straining the berries through muslin to get rid of seeds and chilling the delightful blend of berries and cream in an ice pit in the hillside.
Let’s hear it for the where-do-babies-come-from picture book of the 21st century, Sophie Blackall’s The Baby Tree! If any author-illustrator working today is going to address this topic—the one that makes parents squirm the most—I’m glad it’s Blackall. She does so with wit and honesty, never once talking down to children. And she executes it with her distinctive Chinese-ink and watercolor illustrations—and with good humor to boot.
Mr. and Mrs. Bunny are back, and so are Madeline and her ex-hippie parents, Flo and Mildred, in this sequel to Mr. and Mrs. Bunny―Detectives Extraordinare! Imagine if Tina Fey wrote a middle grade novel, and you’ll have a sense of the nonstop quips packed into these pages.