An easygoing fishing trip yields unexpected catches.
Setting off to fish, Bear affectionately places a green hat on Hare’s head. Somehow Hare ends up carrying the supplies, including fishing net, picnic hamper, and thermos. Bear carries only his fishing pole, which is so long it escapes the pages. The water in which they fish (though really only Bear fishes) is represented by the entire right-hand page of the spreads, colored a faintly mottled robin’s-egg blue. With his pole and net, Bear snags Hare’s hat (right off his head!), a frog, and a roller skate. The skate flies smack into the middle of a cake from Hare’s picnic basket. Hare stands on one leg in the skate, balancing. As Bear dozes off and the fishing pole falls out of position, Hare plays with daisies, which dangle off his extremely long ear and over the water. Daisies, it turns out, are simply too baitlike to be resisted by the startling catch of the day. Gravett’s pencils, crayons, and watercolors employ light lines and a delicate touch to create Bear’s orange-brown scruffiness and Hare’s softer white fur. The limitation here is that the pages’ edges are so close to the action that the scenes feel constrained, and the all-important fishing line is more often off the page than on.
Funny and quick, with excellent art that’s curbed by its tight frame. (Picture book. 2-5)