Middle Bear, Susanna Isern, Kids Can Press, 2017.

Middle Bear is the second of three brothers. When the brothers go out into the forest to do various errands, Middle Bear is either too big or too small to be of any help. His older and younger brother both seem to be the right size. But Middle Bear seems to always be in the middle.

He seems to go unnoticed. And he longs to be different, to be as special as his brothers.

Susanna Isern’s little book is perfect for children to may seem that there is no place for them. And it is great for helping children experience some empathy for the child who reads alone or who cries because of his or her sadness.

Things change when Middle Bear’s parents become ill. The three brothers must go into the forest to gather willow tree bark as it is the only cure. In a somewhat predictable outcome, Middle Bear is the brother who is just the right size to get the tree bark.

His size and status is no longer a hindrance.

He has a purpose, and he is noticed. Middle Bear feels better about himself and what he can do. Middle Bear is a great reminder to the middle child and all children of their worth.

The illustrations by Manon Gauthier are unique and fun. They peaked the interest of Toddler J. The Bear family are illustrated using cut paper, crayons, chalk, colored pencils and other mediums.

You can purchase your own copy by clicking on the image below:

Thanks to NeGalley and the publisher for a digital review copy.