Title: Middle Bear
By: Susanna Isern
Genre: Picture Book
Release Date: October 3rd, 2017
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Summary from Goodreads: He was the second of three brothers. ?He was not big, but he was not small, either. Neither strong nor weak, neither tall nor short, neither a lot nor a little ... He was the middle one.? Everything about life with his brothers was middle-sized. And when you're always in the middle, sometimes it's hard to feel special. But then, one day the cubs' parents fell ill, and their mother asked them to fetch some medicinal bark from a willow tree on the top of a mountain. When it turned out that this very important task could only be done by a cub of his middle size, he finally realized how special it was to be the middle one.
Author Susanna Isern's lovely, melodic picture book tale --- with a delightful use of repetition throughout --- offers an upbeat and positive message to middle children everywhere. It's a subject that is not often addressed in this format. With its hero's quest theme, the story has the feel of a modern-day fairy tale. Manon Gauthier's spare artwork and understated palette perfectly capture the poignancy of the bear cub's emotional journey. Though the book focuses on the role of middle children, it really celebrates every child's efforts toward self-discovery, as they seek out their own special place in the world. It also offers a wonderful opportunity to highlight the character education subject of perseverance or a lesson on empathy.
Review: I have three boys and I know the reality that the middle child faces everyday. They often get overlooked or feel like they don't get treated like the others because they are stuck in the middle, neither big nor small. This book brings to light that struggle and finds a wonderful way of showing how special a middle child can be.
I enjoyed reading this book to my three year old, but he didn't seem very interested in the artwork. TO tell you the truth, I wasn't to intrigued by it myself. It looked like something my Seven year old would do as a school art project. I think the artist was going for something that I didn't find interesting. It wasn't my style.
If you have a middle child give this book a go. Its a fun read.
Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.