Elbert is the smallest of the mechanical clocktower bears. The other four bears take their duties seriously and march regularly in and out of the clock tower with little interest in the world around them. But Elbert is curious. When he causes an accident, the other bears insist he leave the clock tower for a day and get rid of his curiosity before he embarrasses them any further. But Elbert's explorations only make his curiosity grow! As the hours tick by, Elbert has more and more questions about the world that he just can't hide. Instead of suppressing his curiosity, what if he shares it with the other bears?
Prahin's medieval town is surrounded by a beautiful forest and Elbert's daylight adventures mostly take place there while he wanders the town at night. No people are shown, even when Elbert sneaks into an open shop at night. The forest shows vibrant fish in a pond, a fox's red tail, and a surprised bear, the rich colors glowing in the sunlight.
Verdict: While not a first purchase, this quietly reflective story will resonate with some children and may perhaps serve as a gentle reminder to parents and caregivers to encourage children to explore the world around them.
ISBN: 9780525513988; Published March 2019 by Putnam; Review copy provided by publisher; Donated to the library