Another appealing adventure for this delightful duo, just right for a Christmas Eve storytime, perhaps enjoyed with a plate...

A CHRISTMAS FOR BEAR

From the Bear and Mouse Adventures series

In their sixth adventure together, best friends Bear and Mouse celebrate Christmas with pickles, a poem, and presents.

Bear invites Mouse to their first-ever Christmas party, although Bear knows only what he’s read about how Christmas is celebrated. He announces that eating pickles and “reading a long and difficult poem” (“A Visit from St. Nicholas”) should be enough for their party, but Mouse is most interested in the possibility of presents. Grumpy Bear pretends to reject the notion: “Monstrous assumption!” Ever hopeful, Mouse repeatedly escapes from Bear to search the house for gifts, finally locating his Christmas stocking with a tiny telescope tucked inside. Taking the telescope outside to view the night sky leads to a search for Bear’s present, a huge sled that Mouse has somehow hidden under a snow-covered tree. In a satisfying conclusion, Bear and Mouse gleefully sled down a hill “under the shining stars of Christmas.” Bear’s curmudgeonly personality and Mouse’s cheerful antics provide droll humor conveyed with polished comedic pacing and clever phrases such as “a mournful bite of pickle.” Soft-focus illustrations in watercolor, ink, and gouache are particularly strong in the subtle expressions on the animal faces as well as in meeting the design challenge of including a huge bear and a tiny mouse in one environment.

Another appealing adventure for this delightful duo, just right for a Christmas Eve storytime, perhaps enjoyed with a plate of pickles. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-4923-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 12

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE WONKY DONKEY

The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2018

Did you like this book?

Fans of this popular series will find this a rewarding addition to family Easter celebrations.

GOD GAVE US EASTER

From the God Gave Us You series

Bergren and Bryant attempt to explain Easter to young children in a gentle, nonthreatening manner, with partial success.

When Little Cub questions her father about Easter, Papa Bear explains the religious significance of the holiday in various symbolic ways to his cub. He uses familiar things from their world, such as an egg and a fallen tree, to draw parallels with aspects of the Christian story. Papa Bear discusses his close relationships with Jesus and God, encouraging Little Cub to communicate with God on her own. The theme focuses on the renewal of life and the positive aspects of loving God and Jesus. Easter is presented as a celebration of eternal life, but the story skirts the issue of the crucifixion entirely. Some adults will find this an inadequate or even dishonest approach to the Easter story, but others will appreciate the calm and soothing text as a way to begin to understand a difficult subject. Bryant’s charming watercolor illustrations of the polar bear family, their cozy home and snowy forest scenes add to the overall mellow effect.

Fans of this popular series will find this a rewarding addition to family Easter celebrations. (Religion/picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-307-73072-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 12, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more