Bear and his toy friends are on a picnic when Bear wanders off alone in the woods, falls down a vertical bank, and can't get back up. Fortunately, a robin sees his plight and goes to get Bear's friends, who are able—by working together—to rescue him. The appeal here is similar to that of the Old Bear stories by Jane Hissey, but Maris' illustrations are superior: his toys are vigorous chacters, not just sentimental; his idyllic forest has a real sense of place; and his careful design carries the eye forward. The spare text is appropriate for lap-sitters or preschool groups as well as beginning readers.
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