My Brown Bear Barney was first published in 1988 so the 21st Birthday sticker on this copy is from 2009. My Brown Bear Barney is out of print but I did notice one supplier listing a new printing due in May, 2019 although the listed ISBN is from 2011.
My Brown Bear Barney is the perfect book to read sitting side by side with a young child and it is one to enjoy reading over and over again. I certainly did this many young children. Barney is a patient friend who accompanies the little girl to the shops, the beach, on a bike ride and to a sleep over at grandmas but mum explains he cannot go to school.
"When I go to school, next year or the next, I'll take
a new school bag, some lunch, my dinosaur badge and a pencil with a rubber on the end.
But not my brown bear Barney.
My mother says that bears don't go to school.
We'll see about that!"
The accompanying illustration will make you smile. This little girl has no intention of leaving her faithful companion at home no matter where she is going.
One of the strengths of this book, written by New Zealand reading advocate Dorothy Butler, is the brilliant rhythm of the words:
Shopping - my mother, my little brother, my yellow basket, my red umbrella and my brown bear Barney.
Riding - my bike, our old dog Charlie, two apples from our tree, my gumboots and my brown bear Barney.
Grandmas - my pyjamas in a suitcase, a flower in green paper, a tasty tidbit for her cat, some carrots from my garden and my brown bear Barney.
Dorothy Butler wrote 32 books for children, she died in 2015 aged 90. There were several sequels to My Brown Bear Barney:
The simple, nicely cadenced text by the well-known New Zealand author of Babies Need Books gives the illustrator a perfect opportunity to portray the important places and things in a little girl's life--what she wears, the items named ... and more complex scenes that incorporate many more identifiable details--and always Barney himself, joining in as a good friend should. Kirkus