Banks and Hallensleben are together again (What's Coming for Christmas? 2009, etc.) with a heartwarming tale that compares one bear’s hibernation to one little boy’s bedtime-reading rituals.
With a dreamlike quality appropriate to a nightly bedtime story, this captures the feel of falling asleep. Cuddled up against his mama, the boy turns the pages, comments on the colors, asks questions and talks to the bear that is the subject of the book. He hushes the bear, touches his paw, notices the changes in the bear’s environment and identifies with the sleeping bear. Hallensleben’s paintings, filled with thick brush strokes, abstract backdrops and cold colors for the outside scenes and rich oranges and reds for the mama and son, lull readers along with the boy into that relaxed time between waking and sleeping. “The boy held the book. He listened to the sound the pages made when he turned them back and forth.” And, just as the bear’s springtime world is turning green and yellow, the little boy slips into the blue world of his own short, one-night hibernation.
A tribute to the power of books to connect and the love that parents everywhere show when they share books with children at the end of the day, this picture book is simply spectacular. (Picture book. 3-7)