Having tackled one concept in Bear Sees Colors (2014), Bear and his charming woodland friends now address the numbers from one through five.
Buddies Mouse and Bear start their day together, sharing breakfast and counting: “One sun floating high. / One giant dragonfly. / One robin on her nest. / Only ONE berry left!” These counting spreads begin with a page turn that will have kids yelling out the next number and end with more opportunities for them to participate: “Numbers, numbers everywhere. / Can you count along with Bear?” The friends soon run into Hare, who has two apples to share, and the friends and numbers increase up to five, a perfect amount for new counters. As in the previous book, the rhythms and rhymes are not always spot-on: “Bear cries, ‘Look, it’s Badger, / Mole, and Gopher by the shore! / Badger has his fishin’ pole.’ / And the bear counts….” (Confusingly, this spread introduces four, which rhymes with “shore” but doesn’t match the number of friends met.) Chapman’s acrylic illustrations offer lots of opportunities for children to count, and not just the items named in the text—look carefully for the tiny animals.
Bear’s fans may get practice counting the number of times they ask for this again. (Picture book. 2-5)