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PLAY GENTLY, ALFIE BEAR by Catherine Walters


by Catherine Walters & illustrated by Catherine Walters

Age Range: 3 - 5

Pub Date: May 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-525-46885-4
Publisher: Dutton

When a new baby brother and sister arrive on the scene, a young bear named Alfie must learn how to play gently with them. Used to the rough-and-tumble play of a bear cub, Alfie longs to share his world with his new siblings, but they are too young to play tug-of-war or the other fun games that he enjoys. Mother Bear encourages Alfie to go out and find a gift for the young cubs in the forest beyond the cave door, but instead of bringing them something soft and soothing, Alfie brings them stones to demonstrate the sound of thunder. Mother Bear then encourages Alfie to go and find the baby cubs a treat to eat, but instead of berries or honey, Alfie decides to bring them a big fish. Over and over, Alfie tries to share his world with the babies, only to find that his ideas are not quite right for the young cubs. Finally, Alfie tries to show them the rainbow that is arching across the sky, but the babies prefer to look at Alfie, demonstrating that they have really preferred him all along. Softly painted illustrations of this cuddly, teddy bear–like family will enchant young children while at the same time providing a useful lesson for siblings. (Picture book. 3-5)