From the moment you open this book a sense of magical wonder and serenity pervades. This is created not only by the vast remoteness of the polar landscape but by the hauntingly beautiful language and beautifully executed drawings.
In the midst of snow and isolation, a little girl and her great friend Bear experience the joys of shared experience and closeness. When Bear finds a single sunshine flower poking up from the snow, Luna is entranced. But her smile fades with the flower and Bear is concerned. In a quest to find Luna another flower, he sets off to search the four corners of the globe leaving Luna to fret alone in the cold. Much later, when Bear returns home empty handed, an overjoyed Luna assures him that it is he who is the only present she needs. Then she shows Bear how she’s grown another sunshine flower from the seeds of the first, and how she has kept a handful for them to plant together. So together they plant every seed and soon Bear and Luna are soon able to bask in a sunshine meadow of flowers, compete with butterflies bees, snails and ladybirds.
Written in a lyrical yet spare style, there is a tender eye for detail: Luna, does not leave footprints in the snow but ‘little tiptoe patterns’. And just in case the strangeness of this lonely polar life might alienate readers, the author cleverly brings us back to the reality of childhood comparing the relationship of Luna and Bear to ‘bread and strawberry jam’.
But despite such prosaic touches, awe and majesty shine through, reflected in the bold yet delicate illustrations, where flashes of strong colour are set against huge white expanses. There is whimsy too in the addition of little wooden doors to both the igloo and the cave where the two friends live.
A tale that explores the strength of friendship and a delight in nature.