Will a kind gesture from Rabbit change Bear’s grumpy attitude?
“Bear was ALWAYS GRUMPY. He had a big, furry frown and a sulky scowl.” The bold, serif typeface proclaims this on the verso, as Bear’s large, open, toothless mouth lets out a “GRRRROWL!” that crosses into the recto via speech bubble. His foreshortened muzzle makes his face look rather doglike here, but on later pages he appears obviously ursine. Sweet-faced Rabbit, sporting a striped sweater, vows to cheer up Bear, against the cautions of nervous squirrels. When Bear finds Rabbit’s snow sculpture (embellished throughout with embossed sparkles), his outraged roar sends a pile of snow onto himself and the snow rabbit. Little ones will giggle nervously as each woodland animal denies to Bear any culpability in the creation of the snow rabbit. The text continues to use both narrative text and comments in speech bubbles, complemented by an array of brightly colored, anthropomorphic, cartoonlike animals—all with soft-appearing fur—against pale blue, wintry skies. A particularly funny bit shows an owl perched on a snowy tree branch, dramatically covering its face with feathered fingers, bracing itself for a Bear tirade. When Rabbit has been identified as the trespasser, Bear bellows and growls and ultimately demands that she help him clean up the mess. Despite Bear’s bluster, little ones will sense that a happy ending is coming, and they will enjoy gazing at the final double-page spread.
A funny, fast read with a predictable but enjoyable plot and character development. (Picture book. 3-5)