Bess and Bella
Margaret K. McElderry, 2005 (2005)
Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch
lonely little girl named Bess is playing outside in the snow with her doll, wishing for a friend to play with, when suddenly a bird named Bella appears from the sky with a giant '
' Bella tells Bess that she packed her things to fly south for the winter, but then it was too late to go.
ella's suitcases are full of wonderful surprises, including all the fixings for a cozy tea party. The two new friends spend time outdoors having an elegant picnic, meeting other creatures in the meantime. They have a concert with firefighter dogs and help a mother mouse find her lost child, all of whom then join in the festivities. '
All the mouse children whipped up in a trice a marvelous marmalade mousse for mice. The party went merrily on.
ella returns to Bess's home to spend the rest of the winter and the two become playmates. In the springtime, Bella leaves her
at Bess's house, while a new friend calls to Bess from her window, asking her to come out and play.
he artwork is stronger than the storyline, which seems random and a little disconnected, though the language is eloquent and visual. The lovely illustrations convey the solitude and grayness of wintry days, without being dull or bleak.
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