Where's Bear by Hilary McKay is an adorable story about a boy and his favorite bear. What's particularly interesting about this bear is that he's a well-worn little guy. The story details how the only clean spot is beneath his chin and the rest of him is splotched with everything from grass stains to food stains to soot from under the stairs. To everyone except this little boy, his bear is absolutely disgusting. Then one day the boy's grandmother and mother devise a scheme to clean the bear. The boy is whisked out of the house for a day of errands and fun with his grandmother while his mother cleans the bear. The boy has a ball during his time with his grandmother but misses his bear. When they return home, the boy finds the clean bear on his bed. But he doesn't recognize it. The boy is sad and not comforted by the "strange" bear, at least at first. Finally, in the middle of the night, the boy embarks on a quest to find his bear. Because it's dark and the "strange" bear looks friendly, the boy takes him on his hunt. They look everywhere, including on the wet grass, in the sand box, and even under the stairs. Finally the boy falls asleep. When he wakes up, suddenly there's his old bear and the "strange bear" is gone. Together the two search for the "strange" bear for a mini repeat of the original tale.
I liked this book quite a bit and for more than just the bears. It has lovely colorful illustrations and McKay's writing is most detailed. Though the writing is not very complex, the story is longer than many children's books so I guess that it's most suitable for a ready grades 2-3. Recommended.
Source: Library Book