A lighthearted romp in which all kinds of animals end up frolicking in an imaginary meadow where Mr. Bear and his young son live.
Mr. Bear leaves his tree dwelling to go to his job as a letter carrier and promises his son, Little Bear, that he will return “with something special.” In the forest he finds several open train cars and hitches them to his bicycle. As he continues along his route, he meets an amazing number of animals, and they all come along with him. Soon there are rabbits with carrots, Mrs. Ostrich, Mrs. Kangaroo, Mrs. Goat, Mrs. Tiger and her two toddler cubs, along with three pigs and a wolf riding in the cars. Koalas, anteaters, hedgehogs, elephants, and giraffes all join in the animal parade. Little Bear’s joy is evident as he joins the festivities. The soft, full-bleed double-page spreads done in acrylics are filled with creatures that look like cuddly stuffed toys, and the intensely green forest and meadow scenes are enticing. Young children will easily enter this peaceful fantasy world, where even Mr. Wolf promises to behave himself. Little Bear is very happy that his father has kept his promise and brought all these new friends home; the emphasis on new friendships rather than material goods is refreshing.
Reassurance that a parent will return from work, coupled with a sweet story and engaging illustrations, makes for a comforting read-aloud, daytime or bedtime. (Picture book. 3-5)