STARRED REVIEW
June 12, 2018

Friends always find their way back together

By Casey W. Robinson, illustrated by Melissa Larson

In this charming double debut by author Casey W. Robinson and illustrator Melissa Larson, an older factory worker named Iver climbs to the roof during his lunch hour. While up there, he eats next to a giant inflatable bear named Ellsworth. Together they gaze out over a hilly northern landscape, and Iver feels content to be exactly where he is.

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In this charming double debut by author Casey W. Robinson and illustrator Melissa Larson, an older factory worker named Iver climbs to the roof during his lunch hour. While up there, he eats next to a giant inflatable bear named Ellsworth. Together they gaze out over a hilly northern landscape, and Iver feels content to be exactly where he is.

“Everyone’s going somewhere,” Iver reflects. “We can see the whole world from up here. That’s enough somewhere for me.”

Before he heads back to work, Iver cares for Ellsworth—wiping away streaks of rain, shaking snow from his shoulders, shining his paws. In the fall, Iver “plucks the crunchy leaves that stick to Ellsworth’s tummy.” And, of course, he makes sure the ropes that hold the inflatable bear steady are secure.

Then comes Iver’s retirement. Without Iver there to check on the bear, the ropes get loose and Ellsworth flies up into the air and across the town until he lands on the roof of Iver’s small house.

Young readers may wonder if this is a coincidence or if the bear just knows where he belongs. Ellsworth grins as he and his old friend look out onto their new somewhere together. Larson’s soft pencil and watercolor illustrations complement Robinson’s gentle text. With its heartfelt, endearing characters and unusual setting, Iver & Ellsworth is sure to be a bedtime favorite.

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Iver and Ellsworth

Iver and Ellsworth

By Casey W. Robinson, illustrated by Melissa Larson
Ripple Grove
ISBN 9780999024911

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