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Children's LiteratureOmar the bear is full of excitement at the last day of school party. Everyone is promoted, and Ms. Fudge presents the perfect gifts. Omar's friend Elsie is thrilled with the balloons she receives, Bart gets a red striped ball, and Omar delights in the pink hues seen through his new goggles. The whistle blows and the young bears trot down to the pond for a swim, only Omar discovers he can't float like everyone. He sinks. And when he tries to jump from the high dive, he can only look down. "He stood there, high up and all alone. The wind rustled around him. Everyone seemed so far away." But when Elsie's balloons drift off in the wind, Omar takes off to retrieve his friend's beloved present. This time, fear is not a factor. In Omar we see a delightful character full of angst and pride as he encounters the day's unexpected events. Softly created watercolors will capture the attention of even the youngest reader. Illustrations of joy and dismay are communicated through lovable creatures and adorable expressions. Each picture in the story works beautifully with the narrative, providing a visual treat to all. 2005, Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Ages 6 to 8.