Gloomy Erasmus liked to be gloomy. But rabbits and chipmunks and squirrels loved him so for the shade he provided that everywhere he went they went. Tired of company, Erasmus went deep into the forest. There it was so dark he thought it was time to hibernate. He curled up for a long sleep, but before winter ended he was awakened by hunger. With the ground covered by snow he could find nothing to eat. How and why his tiny friends rescue the big bear makes captivating reading. Leonard Shortall's illustrations are really works of art: Winter, Spring, plants and animals gain extra dimensions with his delicate interpretation. Exceptionally well done; good from kindergarten through third grade.