So giddy with pent-up energy is newly awake little Bear that she can’t stop running to take in the joys of spring.
Like a world-class sugar rush, Bear’s need for speed sends her bursting out of the den with such exuberance that she stops only to scoop up a tortoise she trips over—and proceeds to ignore his suggestions to smell the flowers or play with a pair of fox cubs, his objection to climbing a tree, and, when it comes to jumping into the river, the fact that he can’t swim. Wet and tired, Tortoise at last puts his foot down and counters Bear’s protest that there’s so much left to do with the observation that it’s bedtime. The response is predictable: “NOOOOOOOOOO!” Pedler propels her tubby cub, Tortoise clinging gamely on, through sunny woods and meadows alight with fresh greens, bright flowers, and capering wildlife. She then, following Tortoise’s reassurance that tomorrow will bring new opportunities to run, make friends, and maybe sit for a time, sends the pair back at a more sedate pace suitable for appreciating nature’s beauties. Younger audiences with a yen to put pedal to the metal will get the point here, even if they shrug it off.
There’s a lot to be said for taking a few moments to look around. (Picture book. 4-7)