Big Bear just can’t fall asleep.
When the tired, grouchy bear finds out about Hedgehog’s “lovey” (a small, stuffed toy with big ears), he wonders “what kind of lovey would be right for a big bear like me?” He asks many other animals about their loveys and finds out that Wolf’s is “flat and squishy like a pillow,” Sheep’s is “woolly and white,” Snake’s is a mouse (!), and Little Hare doesn’t have one yet. Illustrations are bright, colorful, and childlike, with expressive animal faces. While the concept of a soft toy to snuggle with is nearly universal, the execution in this uncredited translation from the French is incongruent and has inconsistencies. Why is Sheep the only domesticated animal included with all the other forest animals? Every animal’s lovey appears on the bottom right of the composition except for Snake’s, begging the question whether Snake’s lovey is a real mouse. The story does not clearly lead readers to understand why Big Bear decides that he wants a lovey that is “small, cuddly, soft, and white, with long ears” and chooses the living, sentient Little Hare, but it does show, as the friends cuddle together with smiles on their faces in the final double-page spread, that they are “just right.”
Expressive, colorful illustrations do not elevate this disjointed story to the status of the perfect bedtime lovey. (Board book. 1-3)