Dolores Smith and the Birthday Bear was the fourth story in the anthology The Perennial Miss Wildthyme.
Every year on her birthday, Dolores Smith sees a strange monster with a glowing eye watching her from the park opposite her house. On her tenth birthday, she wishes for a friend to come with her to confront the monster once and for all. What she gets is a stuffed and hung-over Panda.
As Panda attempts to get his wits about him, Dolores relates her past experiences with the strange creature.
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- The character of Dolores Smith was based on Dennison's late grandmother, Joan Dolores Smith Husson. She, too, was a ballerina, and her birthday was on July 11.
- In the lead-up to the 2017 convention (Re)Generation Who 3, a reading of the story by Kara Dennison herself was released on her official YouTube channel.