Mr Bear Branches and the Cloud Conundrum, by Terri Rose Baynton

In a style reminiscent of Winnie the Pooh (A.A Milne style, not Disney), Terri Rose Baynton has written and illustrated a gorgeous picture book for ages four and up. The illustrations are simple (black outlines with red and brown colouring) and the writing is incredibly beautiful – an impressive feat given the constrictions of the age range it is for.

Mr Bear Branches and Lintfrey Longfellow make unlikely friends – they are as different as two characters could be. Mr Bear Branches is interested in quantum physics, while Lintfrey loves chasing pigeons, but their genuine care for one another resonates throughout the book. Unfortunately, Bear’s practical view on things soon dashes Lintfrey’s dream of sitting amongst the clouds. That is, until Bear comes up with a plan to make Lintfrey’s dream come true.

The writing includes some big words (“Cloud Conundrum” in the title gives that away) which are a stark contrast to the simple illustrations. The vocabulary is challenging, but the words are fun, almost tongue-twisters, and four year olds will enjoy trying them out.

Mr Bear Branches and the Cloud Conundrum is an adorable tale of friendship and dreams. The characters are loveable, the tale sweet, and it makes a wonderful bedtime story that will enhance your child’s vocabulary.

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TITLE: Mr Bear Branches and the Cloud Conundrum
AUTHOR(S): Terri Rose Baynton
PUBLISHER: HarperCollins
RRP: $19.99
ISBN: 9780733329210

JJ is a writer by night, & a Product Manager by day. She loves young adult and children’s fiction and is the co-founder of NZ Booklovers. She has a Masters in Creative Writing, and is an ex-English tutor. She lives in Auckland with her husband, daughter, and two chihuahuas.

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