Bear and Fred: A World War II Story By Iris Argaman illustrated by Avi Ofer & Translated By Annette Appel

Back of Book:
Based on true events and beautifully illustrated, this is the story of a friendship that will last forever—told by Fred’s best friend, his beloved teddy bear.
During World War II, Fred must leave his home and live in hiding, apart from the rest of his family, but he always keeps Bear by his side. Bear knows it’s his job to take care of Fred and make sure he doesn’t feel alone.
After the war, Fred and his family are reunited and leave Holland for the United States. And still Bear is with him. When Fred grows up, he and Bear part for the first time when Bear is sent to Yad Vashem—the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Israel, where this book was first published—to show the power of hope, friendship, and love.
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Blue Slip Press in exchange for an honest review. I was thrilled to be apart of the book tour to share this stunning story.
Bear and Fred is a touching historical narrative that shares the bond between a boy named Fred and the bear that protected him during World War II.
The story is told from the perspective of Bear and opens the reader’s eyes to the difficult and unpredictable journey that Jewish people had during the German invasions.
Fred is a young boy who is left in the care of strangers for his own safety. He goes through many emotions of fear sadness and relisence. His constant conpanion Bear stays with him every step of the way. Iris Argaman did a fantastic job of blending historical facts and nagalstic feeling in a story about the perservence of the human spirit. The illustrations by Avi Ofer are done is mostly muted colors and bring Bear into focus on each page he captured the details of the story richly and expressively. The back of the book has a letter from Bear to the children as well as a note from the author as to why she wrote such a moving story.
This creative book is a true gem and not one that should be missed.
Ages 6 and up
48 Pages

Iris Argaman is the author of a number of books for children, including Bear and Fred, which was awarded the Yad Vashem Prize in Israel and the Giovanni Arpino Prize for Children’s Literature in Italy. She lives in Israel, where she is a lecturer on children’s literature, holds writing workshops, and writes activity books which promote museum education.
Avi Ofer is an illustrator and animation director born and raised in Israel and now based in Spain. His work has been exhibited in art shows and screened in festivals around the world. Annette Appel is a translator of books for young readers and truly enjoys the challenge of making stories written in Hebrew accessible to English speakers. “Translated from Hebrew, it reads seamlessly and beautifully presents a family caught up in war…Without in any manner diminishing the actual horrors of World War II or any current fighting, the author enables a child to grasp in some small manner the impact of conflict on a family. Moving and accessible.” —Kirkus ReviewsAmazon

Crossing Kids aims to increase the diversity of children’s books in translation and encourage young reading from a range of cultural perspectives.

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