Bear's Best Friend
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Bear has lots of woodland friends and a talent for topiary. He does a beautiful job of creating tree-pictures of squirrel, mole, rabbit, frog, deer and hedgehog – but as he works, he muses on the fact that all of them seem to have a best friend and that he wants someone extra-special too.
This gentle story does not follow any obvious path of action and consequence, but there is plenty to talk about with young children: loneliness, different animals, having a talent, and the importance of friendship. The gorgeous illustrations in Sarah Dyer's delightful, naive style give pace to the narrative, incorporating collage, line and plenty of intense colour.