Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Bear’s First Christmas

Bear’s First Christmas

Robert Kinerk
Illustrator:  Jim LaMarche 
Picture Book
For ages 5 and up
Simon and Schuster, 2007   ISBN: 978-0689869723

It is very cold and snowflakes are falling. Although he is still very young, a bear knows that he needs to find a place to sleep until spring comes. So he finds a cave and there he lays his head on his paw and goes to sleep.

Some time later he is woken up by a noise. He leaves the cave to investigate. The whole world is glittery and snow covered. He discovers that the source of the noise is a miserable hungry crow who is cawing for food. The bear goes home and brings the crow some sweet honey comb to eat.

The bear and the crow then come across a moose who is trying to get to some weeds in a bog. He cannot reach the weeds because they are beneath some ice. The bear uses his sharp claws to scrape away the ice until the weeds are free and the moose is able to eat "his fill."

The bear, the moose, and the crow then came across a homeless partridge and her chicks. Their shelter had been destroyed. The bear tells the birds to follow in his tracks. Perhaps he will be able to help them.

The animals then come to a human home and see a family celebrating Christmas inside. The animals do not understand what they are seeing but something about the scene touches them in a special way. When they leave the house they go together to the bear?s den to shelter from the cold of winter and to share in the special glow that connects them all.

In this remarkable picture book the author finds a new way to tell his readers about the spirit of Christmas. Readers will be left with an incredibly warm feeling as they close the covers of this book, a warm feeling which will stay with them for a long time and which will remind them that Christmas is truly about sharing and giving. Beautifully written and gorgeously illustrated, this is a picture book to treasure for years to come.