Book 30: A Splendid Friend, Indeed, by Suzanne Bloom, Scholastic 2006. Toddler to Preschool.
Pesky characters in books appeal to me, like Willems' pigeon and Numeroff's mouse. I'm not sure why, they just do. So I find the irritating goose in A Splendid Friend, Indeed charming. But even more than the goose, I love the patient polar bear. He's the perfect foil to the silly goose.
The friendly pair are well-drawn -- the bear's fur is magnificent -- and expressive. Bloom brings them to life using pastels, which is not an easy medium to work with.
The story itself is so simple that a toddler has not trouble following it, especially when enhanced by the excellent illustrations.