A mother bear and her newborn cub move through the seasons in this British import.
The text is brief and simple, the language lyrical. An adult female, Big Bear, introduces her Little One to new places and other animals. She demonstrates how to forage for food and, albeit somewhat obscurely, “how to enjoy the long summer days.” When winter comes she leads her cub back up to their den in the hills to settle down for their winter’s sleep. Beautifully designed and executed charcoal illustrations offer a single scene on each double-page spread. Debut author/illustrator Weaver uses the limited palette of black, white, and gray masterfully. She is particularly skilled in conveying the play of light, as in a picture that shows mother and child ambling into a forest glade, where black tree trunks and gray leaves are backlit by soft but bright sunlight. White space is used effectively, especially in the rush of a river and a blustery snowstorm. The texture of the paper the drawings were composed on shows through, enhancing the furriness of the bears and the blurred beauty of a stand of trees reflected in a lake. Although a few touches of anthropomorphism creep into the text, they don’t detract from the authenticity (and more than likely will add to the appeal) of this lovely depiction of the natural world.
Quietly stunning. (Picture book. 3-6)