Bear and Hare are more toddlerlike than ever.
Bear’s the mellower of the two, Hare the scowlier, but their power dynamic is changeable. In Bear & Hare Go Fishing (2015), Hare was subordinate and a bit trampled; in Bear & Hare: Snow! (2015), Hare had all the fun and smirked at hapless Bear. This time, out walking, they find a flower, a balloon, and an ice cream cone as big as Hare. Their dialogue invites readers to chime in: “ ‘Share?’ asked Bear. / ‘Mine!’ said Hare.” Petulantly determined not to share, Hare chomps the flower, grips the ice cream cone with long ears as well as arms, and keeps grasping the balloon even while Bear’s pulling on it. Will there be conflict? Hare eats the edibles, bursts the balloon (well, they both do that), and glares—“But Bear didn’t care.” Bear’s well of forgiveness is endless—matching how quickly and irrationally toddler resentments (sometimes) disappear. When Bear goes briefly away, Hare gets some painful comeuppance. Gravett uses her mastery of expression and composition in fabulous illustrations. Her pencils, watercolors, and crayons make details pop: flower petals sagging out of Hare’s mouth; the primary-colored, liquid-paint–y balloon and its tiny shards after it bursts; pink ice cream staining Hare’s mouth. Backgrounds are white except for a bit of grassy ground, and the visual mood is cheerful.
Well worth sharing. (Picture book. 2-4)