Sunday, December 18

Book Review: Wise Bear William: A New Beginning by Arthur Wooten

Arthur Wooten ("Birthday Pie," "On Picking Fruit") switches gears in his latest endeavor, taking readers on a gentler ride.

"Wise Bear William: A New Beginning" relates the tender tale of toys tucked away in an attic. Rag Doll Rose, Bean Bag Bunny and Calico Kitty live in harmony among trunks, cracked mirrors and forgotten memories.

The dolls are guided lovingly by the knowledgeable bear after overhearing that children shall perform a traditional visit to the attic to retrieve once-loved toys left by other generations. The lucky chosen few shall regain the longed-for life of a cherished toy.

The cluttered attic’s inhabitants worry, sacrifice and learn to cherish each other, and themselves, while helping one another get ready for the children’s visit. Finding flowers, buttons and other objects for sprucing up their appearance, they realize that it is their love inside that makes them truly beautiful.
As the stuffed toys aid each other and the children arrive to scoop up their new friends, readers enjoy a journey of warmth, friendship and anticipation. Who will be chosen? Who will be left behind?

Blanket Bear
Bud Santora’s deep, rich illustrations of tattered dresses, floppy ears and button eyes enhance the warmth of the characters without overpowering the content’s message. Santora's background as an Emmy Award winner, costume and holiday designer, serves him well to create almost-touchable images throughout the must-read again book.
What was the inspiration for the lovable teddy bear and company? I asked Wooten in a recent telephone interview.

“It came from a bear I had as a child, Blanket Bear. My grandfather, John Reid, who I called Papa, came from Scotland. As a teenager, he went into WWI, and was on the front lines fighting. He brought home his army blanket and my grandmother turned it into a teddy bear for me. I still have Blanket Bear.”

Bottom line: I dare anyone to read this timeless treasure and not feel an immediate and strong connection with “Wise Bear William: A New Beginning.” Wooten has struck a chord with this book which touches all ages and it will be found sitting, with edges well worn, upon children's bookshelves around the globe.

Wise Bear William: A New Beginning is available as a soft cover, hard cover and ebook at Galaxais Productions

Find Arthur Wooten on Facebook by clicking: Facebook/ArthurWooten
FInd Arthur Wooten on Twitter by clicking: Twitter/ArthurWooten
Photo credits: Galaxais Production

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as Indy’s Arts & Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC, and follow her on Twitter @GottaGo and Facebook. Gotta Go is published in M magazine and the following newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter.


DB said...

All of us can relate to Wise Bear William!

Elizabeth J. Musgrave said...

I agree DB! I look forward to reading about Wise Bear William in future books.
His sweetness and gentle way is comforting and the other toys are fun and friendly.

Wooten writes with the mindset of a child, rather than an adult trying to write for children.