Bears, snow, and anticipation for a very long winter's slumber figure into this bedtime book with a bittersweet twist.
Little Miss Bear, a cub, can't sleep, but it's not the usual childhood anxieties. Mother Bear's little one can't catch a wink because she's afraid everything will have changed when she wakes from hibernation. Instead of simply soothing her cub, Mother Bear takes her for one last roll in the snow before covering her face with kisses and tucking her in. "And when we wake up, the stars will be bright," Mother Bear tells her. "The moon will be round. The hills will be grassy. And we'll be right here, in our very own place, together." Veteran children's author Hest wisely understands it's not just the cuddles that bring rest, but a parent's reassurances that sleep won't bring chaos and disorder, even one as long as winter. Tobia employs cozy, soothing hues for her anthropomorphic bear characters, who are warm and safe in their mountain chalet against the more mysterious, dense backgrounds of the woods outside. This is the rare children's book that is as reassuring as it is sweet.
It won't rewrite the book on bedtime, but it will make some older readers envious of Mother Bear's sanguine, calming attitude toward the passing of the seasons. (Picture book. 3-7)