THE GIVING DAY | Kirkus Reviews

Jars of honey make fine presents for friends, but while on his rounds, Cooper the bear delivers an even sweeter gift.

Having brought out a Welcome Wagon (2020) for an opener, the tightly knit community of Cubby Hill is coming together for its Great Giving Festival. “Bee careful!” Grammy Bea warns little Cooper, sending him out with some of the last of the summer’s golden harvest. As everyone is busy setting up on the fairgrounds, Cooper offers to lend a paw at each stop—watching the baby Bouncey bunnies, debugging the VR flight simulator for his friend Stella, and hefting paint-a-pumpkins with another friend, Henry. Unfortunately, at each stop a honey jar somehow ends up spilled or broken (“Oh my gourd! I’m sorry!”), with the inevitable result that Cooper trails sadly back to Grammy’s booth certain that she’ll never trust him again. Imagine his surprise when a crowd rushes up to thank him warmly for his assistance…including Grammy, who makes the lesson explicit: “I want to thank you too,” she says. “For always helping anyone and everyone who needs it.” In populous illustrations that reflect the narrative’s playful tone, Cooper, styling himself “Super Cooper,” is easy to pick out in his cape and outsized eyeglasses amid a bustling, multispecies cast of cute, smiling, bigheaded animals in human dress. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at 75% of actual size.)

Worthy values delivered with a wink…not to mention a generous dollop of sticky sweetness.

(Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: today

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4419-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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