HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Make a Wish, Honey Bear!
Author and Illustrator: Marcus Pfister
Publisher: Scholastic, republished in 2000
ISBN-13: 978-0735812437 (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0735812438 (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-0439221283 (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0439221285 (Paperback)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 5-8 and up
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Pfister, Marcus. Make a Wish, Honey Bear! (published in 1999 by North-South). It is Honey Bear’s birthday. However, it seems as if everyone has forgotten except his mother. He sits despondently on a rock. Then Mother calls Honey Bear into the clearing and, “Surprise!” There are his whole family and his very best friend singing “Happy Birthday” to him. Mother brings out a beautiful cake with leaves and berries. “Blow out the candles, Honey Bear,” she says, “and don’t forget to make a wish.” What should Honey Bear wish for? Everyone offers different, suggestions that reflect their love for Honey Bear and their peculiar relationship to him. All of them are good wishes too, such as luck, friends, sunshine, lots of time to play, a big salmon, etc. So, what will Honey Bear decide? In the end, Honey Bear makes up his own wish. What is it?
Author and illustrator Marcus Pfister’s ink-and-watercolor illustrations, in a palette of greens, browns, and grays with cartoon-like bears, match the narration, by depicting each of the would-be wishes coming true. This sweet and simple story is very fun and cute to read, educates the reader in common things that bears do, and is challenging but has many recognizable words that most students can identify. A native of Berne, Switzerland, Pfister wrote and illustrated his first book, The Sleepy Owl, in 1986. He has written and illustrated many other books since, including the popular Penguin Pete and Hopper series. His best-known work to date is The Rainbow Fish, which has remained on bestseller lists across the United States since 1992, and its sequels Rainbow Fish to the Rescue! and Rainbow Fish and the Big Blue Whale, which have also become international best-sellers.