Perfect Picture Book Let’s-Pretend-It’s-Still-Friday 😊 – The Gift Shop Bear

Okay. So technically it’s not Friday. Too much to do the last few days! But I didn’t want to miss the chance to share this lovely book in the last Perfect Picture Book Friday post of the year!

Due to the upcoming Holiday Contest (click here for guidelines if you want to enter!), followed by the holidays themselves, our next official PPBF will be in January. But anyone who posted last week when Thanksgiving eclipsed PPBF for me (sorry about that!) or this week on time (as I did not! 🀣) or who posts in the next couple weeks is welcome to add all their titles to today’s list!

So without further ado, enjoy a peek at this sweet book. I have had my copy for a few weeks, signed by the author/illustrator and ready to go under the tree for my granddaughter 😊

Title: The Gift Shop Bear

Written & Illustrated By: Phyllis Harris

Publisher: Worthy Kids, October 2021, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-6 (from readers), though I think kids as young as 3 and as old as 8 will enjoy, not to mention the “kids” in their 20s-100 😊

Themes/Topics: holiday (Christmas), friendship, love, loyalty

text and illustration copyright Phyllis Harris 2021, Worthy Kids

Opening: “Nestled on the edge of town sat a little gift shop.
Inside the shop, in a dusty attic, in a cozy box. . .
a little bear listened to the frosty wind whistling outside the window.”

Brief Synopsis: All year long, Bear waits in his box in the attic for the first signs of the Christmas season when his friend Annie will come to take him down into Nana’s shop to celebrate the holidays. But this year is different. Nana is retiring and the shop is closing. What will happen to Bear?

Links To Resources: Instead of gingerbread men, why not get a bear-shaped cookie cutter and use this kid-friendly recipe to make gingerbread bears? Kids can have fun mixing the dough, cutting out bear shapes, and decorating any way they like, not just at the holidays, but all year long!

text and illustration copyright Phyllis Harris 2021, Worthy Kids

Why I Like This Book: This is one of those stories that both tugs at your heart and warms it. All year long, Bear waits faithfully in the attic, knowing that when the first snowflakes fall his friend Annie will come and get him and bring him down to the warmth and light, love and laughter, the scent of fresh gingerbread and pine, and his favorite carols in Nana’s gift shop. But this year, when the shop closes on Christmas Eve it is closing for good because Nana is retiring. Bear is put away in his box wondering if he’ll ever get out again. He is tossed in a car and driven away, tossing and tumbling, alone in the dark. How can Annie ever come for him if she doesn’t know where he is? [Spoiler alert – if you don’t want to know the ending, skip a bit 😊] Bear falls asleep, and when he wakes up he hears familiar voices, smells the familiar scent of Christmas, and hears his favorite carol. The box opens and there is Annie, with whom he now gets to spend EVERY day, not just the holidays. At last he has somewhere to belong all year long. The art is SO appealing, soft and engaging. Young readers will want to pick Bear up and hug him. And all readers will be touched by Annie and Bear’s enduring friendship. If you liked ROCKING HORSE CHRISTMAS by Mary Pope Osborne, you will love THE GIFT SHOP BEAR.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 😊

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF folks, please add your titles and post-specific blog links (and any other info you feel like filling out 😊) to the form below so we can all come see what fabulous picture books you’ve chosen to share this week!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! 😊

21 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Let’s-Pretend-It’s-Still-Friday 😊 – The Gift Shop Bear

  1. seschipper says:

    Oh, I love Christmas and teddy bears as well
    In my kindergarten/1st grade class one of our special greetings was ” you are beary special “!
    This pb will definitely be added to my collection!
    Thanks Susanna! Story and illustrations look great, Phyllis! πŸ˜‰

  2. Maria Marshall (@MariaMarshall_) says:

    Oh Susanna, I was thinking how well this would go as a pair with the Rocking Horse Christmas. When we bought that book years ago – it came with a rocking horse ornament. Which we put on a house plant so it wcould enjoy our family all year! I love this book and will have to go find it. Thank you for such a sweet review.

  3. Andrea Mack says:

    This looks so sweet and touching! Also, I love “let’s pretend it’s still Friday” (hmm…maybe I’ll write a book with that title). I feel like I’m behind on everything! Have a great weekend!

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