Wednesday, January 26, 2011

3. Forever Friends

Written and illustrated by Carin Berger
$16.99, ages 2-6, 40 pages

A bird and bunny stumble into a friendship that endures through the seasons in this breezy, enchanting book about being patient and true.

As pink blossoms unfold on trees, a graceful blue bird swoops onto a branch above a log, where a brown bunny is waking from his winter sleep.

"Come Play!" the bird sings out, and immediately the bunny bounds out of the log, bursting to go on adventures.

The days are joyful and they play every moment they can through the last days of fall.

They string flowers, twirl around each other, hide under toad stools, and try to catch floating globes of fireflies.

But when the last of the leaves fall and the cool air comes, the bird tells the bunny he must go.

It's time to fly south, but he promises to come back when the air is warm again.

As the bird soars away, the bunny sadly looks up toward the clouds, his arms stretched out to his friend; he is not yet ready to let go.

Then snowflakes fall and, the bunny feels the loneliness of the barren trees around him. Far away, the bird sits in a leafy tree, looking wistfully back.

Through February, the two sit and wait, each looking back in the direction of where the other is, until one day, the warm air returns.

The sun chases away the snow, and above the log, the bunny hears the sweet, familiar song of his forever friend.

As the bird swoops about the pages with the bunny hopping below, you're swept into the exhilaration they feel together, and later when they part, the spare pictures focus your eyes in on each and you feel their isolation.

The simplicity of this book echoes the sweet honesty of the animals' friendship and shows that a good friend is well worth the wait.

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