Nikolai, the Only Bear (Hardcover)
Philomel, 9780399238840, 32pp.
Publication Date: March 17, 2005
There are one hundred orphans at the Russian orphanage, but Nikolai is the only bear. He growls when he speaks and claws the air when he plays. "Play nice, Nikolai," the keepers say. No one wants to take Nikolai home. Until one day, when a fur-faced man and a smooth-faced woman come to visit from America. They growl with him and play with him, and sing songs that make him feel soft-bearish. And when it's time for them to go home, Nikolai knows that he has found the right family at last.
Charmingly illustrated by newcomer Renata Liwska, this is an adoption fable that any child who's ever felt like an outsider will easily relate to.