Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 5 to 9
- Grade: k to 4
Bear’s minimalist holiday celebration has an eager Mouse feeling a bit anxious in this humorous and heartwarming story about the unlikely, lovable pair.
One frosty night, Bear hears a tap, tap, tapping on his front door. “Merry Christmas!” cries Mouse. Mouse is there for a Christmas party, and Bear has never had one before, but he’s certain that pickles (preferably from France) must be an essential component, along with the reading of a long and difficult poem. The problem is, whenever Bear comes back from the kitchen with more treats, Mouse has vanished — only to be found, small and gray and guilty-eyed, scurrying under the bed or rifling through the closet. Will there be even a tiny present involved? “Hogwash!” scolds Bear. Get ready for holiday anticipation and the best kind of surprises as the curmudgeonly Bear and a hopeful Mouse return in a warm, funny tale full of holiday cheer and true friendship.
About the authors
Kady MacDonald Denton has illustrated more than forty picture books, including the New York Times bestseller A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker, and A SECOND IS A HICCUP by Hazel Hutchins. She lives in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. Please visit her website at www.kadymacdonalddenton.ca.
Bear's curmudgeonly personality and Mouse's cheerful antics provide droll humor conveyed with polished comedic pacing and clever phrases such as "a mournful bite of pickle." Soft-focus illustrations in watercolor, ink, and gouache are particularly strong in the subtle expressions on the animal faces...Another appealing adventure for this delightful duo, just right for a Christmas Eve storytime, perhaps enjoyed with a plate of pickles.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Both text and art will draw smiles as this awkward holiday gathering unfolds, and especially as Bear’s frosty temperament begins to thaw. And, yes, presents—not just pickles—are eventually exchanged.
Kids who’ve followed the previous adventures of formal introvert Bear and cheerful extrovert Mouse will be tickled by Bear’s new ability to use his crusty persona to tease his friend, and those new to our heroes will giggle at the contrast and comic repartee between the two.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Becker and Denton team up once again for a holiday episode that sweetly acknowledges how the friendship between Bear and Mouse has grown from their first meeting in A Visitor for Bear and the multiple titles since then...The warm and playful use of the familiar story structure and characters make for a read-aloud that will add smiles to the holiday.
—School Library Journal
This odd couple’s banter is evergreen in their sixth book. Cozy illustrations are full of good cheer.
—The Horn Book
Denton’s warm, expressive illustrations heighten the drama and underscore the affection between these two well-loved characters. An amusing, original holiday story.