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BE GENTLE! by Virginia Miller


by Virginia Miller & illustrated by Virginia Miller

Age Range: 2 - 5

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-7636-0251-5
Publisher: Candlewick

 George, the big bear, and Bartholomew (``Ba''), the very little bear, return for another growing-up lesson (Go to Bed!, 1993, etc.), this time about how to treat a pet. Cautioned to be gentle with his new kitten, Ba gives her a squashing hug, wild rides on his swing and in his wagon, and a squirt with the garden hose. An ear-splitting drum serenade is too much, and the kitten runs away. Ba is ``sad and sorry'' and creeps away to his secret hiding place under his bed, where he finds the kitten. Having learned his lesson, Ba is ready now to be very gentle indeed, and the kitten sits on his lap and purrs. It's an endearing story, just right for toddlers struggling to tame their exuberance and to recognize the needs of those who are even smaller than they are. The facial expressions and body language of the kitten are priceless, and clear enough to help children recognize the wordless ways in which animals communicate. Six vignettes across the title spread show ways for Ba to play happily with his kitten. This book should have a long and happy life in veterinary offices, pet shops, and animal shelters, as well as in the usual outlets. (Picture book. 2-5)