Author(s): Kazumi Yumoto
One morning the bear was crying. His friend, the little bird, was dead.
When the little bird dies, the bear is inconsolable. Full of grief, he locks himself in his house and ventures out again only when the smell of young spring grass blows through his window. He meets a wildcat and finally feels understood. As the cat plays on her violin, the bear remembers all the beauty that he has experienced with the little bird. Now he can bury his friend, because he knows he'll always have his memories.
This extraordinary picture book tells the story of a bear whose best friend, a small bird, has died. The reader follows Bear as he mourns his companion but also as he begins to find renewed meaning in his life following a chance encounter with a musical cat. This powerful story deals with one of life’s most complicated and painful aspects with delicacy and honesty. Intricately layered pencil illustration accompanies the tale to create a story that is very moving but also filled with hope. This would be a poignant book to support discussion of bereavement with older children. - BookTrust
Kazumi Yumoto was born in Tokyo, Japan, in 1959. She studied music composition at Tokyo College and during this time wrote opera libretti and plays for radio and television. Her books, mostly novels for older children, have won numerous international awards.
Illustrator Komako Sakai graduated from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music and worked at a kimono textile design company. She is currently one of the most popular children's author/illustrators in Japan. Her illustrations have also been used in everything from corporate advertising and movie billboards to CD jackets.