A Visitor for Bear, a new picture book written by Bonny Becker and illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton, is about a grouchy bear, with a "No Visitors Allowed" sign on his door, and a mouse intent on dropping in. It's one of the best books I've read in eons. I chose five highlights to mention here.
1. The mouse. He's insistent in a polite, British sort of way.
"I told you to leave!" cried Bear.
"Perhaps we could have just a spot of tea?" said the mouse.
2. Bear's cozy home, with its cast-iron stove, tea kettle, and tablecloth embroidered with bees. I'd be tempted to keep it to myself, too.
3. The harmony of the author-illustrator team. The writing and art (watercolor, ink, gouache) are smart, funny, and evenly balanced.
4. Bear's transformation. In the end, Bear and the mouse become friends, and Bear tears up his off-putting sign.
5. The book's appeal. The comedy in A Visitor for Bear will tickle both little kids and independent readers.
+ 1 more: Reading on the Candlewick web site that more Mouse and Bear books are in the works.