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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Brown Bear & Oofie Present: The Lost Identity is a children’s social issues picture book written and illustrated by Masami S.C. Brown Bear and Oofie had just been playing with their friend, Herman. Oofie mentioned how much she liked Herman’s freckles, which made Brown Bear pause and think a bit. Were the marks on Herman’s face freckles? As Oofie began talking, Brown Bear seemed to lose focus and get involved in her own thoughts. Suddenly she left the room and came back a little later looking just a bit different. Oofie wondered what happened to Brown Bear; then she started laughing. Silly Brown Bear, she looks fine just the way she is. Brown Bear is unique and special. So are Herman and Oofie. Each of them has their own identity, made up of how they think, behave and look.
Masami S.C.’s children’s social issues picture book, Brown Bear & Oofie Present: The Lost Identity, has the two iconic friends discussing an issue many kids grapple with in social settings, especially in school and playgrounds. While it may seem cool to look or act like other kids, especially very popular ones, it’s really best of all to just be yourself as Brown Bear discovers when her attempt to make freckles goes awry. The author’s characters are both wise and funny, and her illustrations, which are brightly colored and upbeat, will make this a very popular selection with young readers and for story time sessions. I also appreciated how Masami highlights the featured words used in the story and includes a glossary of them at the end of the book. Brown Bear & Oofie Present: The Lost Identity is most highly recommended.