Mawson is a writer bear whose guardian helps him put his ponders into books, thereby helping other baffled beings navigate their lives. I reviewed his debut here.
In this, his second publication, Mawson tells the story of his good friend, Frilly, a small bear with a predilection for all things pink who goes on a brave quest to find herself. Frilly was frightened and ran away when love shone too brightly on her. She seeks happiness but isn’t sure where to look for it after love proved so scary.
The tale opens with Frilly consulting Mawson and asking some big questions. Frilly wants to be different, less afraid, so decides to boldly go out into the world and find the bear she wants to be.
Only a little bit daunted by obstacles along the way, she at last finds a place where she may be whatever she chooses. This doesn’t offer the satisfaction expected. Frilly returns home saddened and confused.
She asks Mawson how she can ever find happiness. After consulting his many books, Mawson has the answer, yet Frilly still feels sad. Some answers require a little more personal tailoring to be effective. They require effort and reaction.
Mawson doesn’t give up. He knows that Frilly must find her own way to address how she is feeling, but he has helpful suggestions as to things she might try. Between them they manage to work out what Frilly can do to cope with times that prove difficult. In better understanding what happiness is, Frilly is able to move forward and be more like the bear she aspires to be.
The joy of these books is their gentle approach to universal dilemmas. Mawson may not be a typical guru but he cares and has time for his friends. He understands the importance of a hug. He can sit quietly and listen, offering advice but only if requested. He shows no resentment when friends choose to leave him behind, even when staying at home may appear the safer option.
There is humour as well as wisdom in these pages. Readers, whatever their age, can empathise with a small bear whose life has its shadows that will at times make navigation a challenge.
Life advice from bears that is on point but never didactic. What’s not to love?
My copy of this book was provided gratis by the author.