In a simple picture book with a satisfyingly cadenced text, a small bear learns about assertiveness. Barney is the happy owner of a cupcake with five cherries on it. But before he can eat it, he is accosted by a wasp, a mouse, a crow, a squirrel, and a fox, each in turn promising to leave him alone in return for a cherry. Resigned, he hands them over; but when a big bear named Buster demands the cake itself, Barney finally rebels: he eats it, fast. This is the sort of story into which much can be read by adults while it is enjoyed by children for its delicious triumph. Boon's illustrations, with bright, uncomplicated colors and clearly outlined images, are well-suited to the preschool picture-book hour; the story will also be pleasing, if not memorable, for younger readers, who will enjoy its sense of simple justice.