Bear and Mole go camping, but when the sky gets dark, Mole needs a reassuring story.
Squat little Mole, with a round, bulbous nose, wants to sleep outdoors to “see the stars turn on.” So Mole and Bear gather their camping gear and hike “UP, UP, UP”—while munching on berries: “YUM, YUM, YUM”—to the top of Camp Tiptop. But when they arrive, it is beginning to get dark, and Mole wants to go home. To settle his fears, Bear tells him a story of the earliest bear family. To combat the night’s inky darkness, First Little Bear helps his mother shape white clay into the moon. Then First Little Bear scatters tiny white stones in the sky to become the stars. First Father Bear tries to push one, but it doesn’t move. That star is the one constant—the titular First Star (or the North Star). Then, First Father Bear creates a “star picture” of First Little Bear in the sky, and First Star becomes his tail. Hillenbrand’s warm, textured illustrations take on a gorgeous, luminous blue for the tale of the first bears, both text and stars glowing white against it. Of course, Mole delights in Bear’s storytelling, and suddenly the darkness isn’t so scary after all. The lack of backmatter on constellations represents a missed opportunity in an otherwise lovely book.
A calming, nighttime addition to this adored duo’s series. (Picture book. 3-6)