As different from the Minarik/Sendak Little Bear as saccharine is from honey, this one celebrates still another holiday by giving a New Year's party. Little Bear, Owl, Squirrel and Sparrow invite each other' to the party at Little Bear's house when it becomes evident that no other invitations are forthcoming. In addition each invites one other guest, but several times that many show up. ""Knowing how sad it was not to be invited to a New Year's party,"" Little Bear welcomes them all -- and hugs and kisses everyone when the clock strikes twelve. We'll decline with pleasure, but Little Bear's many friends will want to be included, and the message is geared to preschoolers' sensibilities.