Anne Booth and Maria Christania
It’s spring so why won’t Bear come out of his cave and play with the friends that are waiting for him? Rabbit wants him to enjoy some hill rolling, Squirrel wants him to climb trees but what is keeping their ursine friend rolled up in his blanket?
Off go Squirrel and Rabbit to consult Fox. Fox has been busily packing a picnic basket and has an idea that just might be the way to treat Bear’s “too much of everything” fears about the world beyond his cave.
First they gather some sweet smelling flowers and arrange them around the cave entrance; then they sit down close by making comments they hope might entice their friend from his extended hibernation to partake of both the delights of spring and the tasty treats that await.
Bear’s friends are an empathetic trio understanding that no matter how much they miss him, after a long period away from company and the open air, he is perhaps going to feel overwhelmed at the prospect of re-emerging, so they allow him to do so in his own time, when he feels ready.
Anne Booth’s gentle tale contains an important message for us all: however much you might want a person to do something, put yourself in their shoes and see things from their perspective, encourage but don’t force them. I know this is true of several friends and a fair number of children who have found coming out of lockdown hugely challenging. I love Maria Christania’s portrayal of the characters and the sheer exuberance spring brings upon them (and most of us) in her mixed media illustrations.