Big Bear gets in all kinds of trouble when he takes credit for the work of the wind.
The leaves are burnished gold and orange, birds fill the sky and Big Bear lets out an enormous sneeze. Coincidentally, this occurs just when the wind whirls the leaves right off the trees. Even though the wind tries to explain, Bear thinks that he's responsible and tries to nail the leaves back on. Further up the hill is an apple tree, where the same thing happens: "Just as Big Bear let out a sneeze, / branches shook in a very strong breeze." A flock of geese is resting on the lake, and another gust (simultaneous with a Bear sneeze) sends them flapping away. When Bear claims credit for this as well, the wind loses his temper and pairs his loudest declaration with his strongest gale force: "I do it all! I'm the autumn breeze!" Bear listens and, after scratching his head, says, "You could have told me before," and retires for the winter. Hillebrand's mixed-media illustrations use a bright and appealing palette; his evocation of the wind is particularly charming.
Still, though the bounce of Wright's verse is welcome, the story is all too slender; for truly satisfying ursine braggadocio, try How Chipmunk Got His Stripes, by Joseph and James Bruchac, illustrated by José Aruego and Ariane Dewey (2001). (Picture book. 3-6)