The familiar picture-book story arc of a bear who cannot fall asleep in the winter is given comparable treatment in this import from China via New Zealand.
The titular brown bear lies abed quite grumpily. Winter is boring, and, in addition, this bear does not like the cold. He is resourceful, though, and he consults reference material, where he finds the solution to his difficulties. Polar bears, he learns, have “thick white fur,” which he can replicate by knitting a sweater—a very big sweater. Sheep have the wool for this sweater, and after much calculation, measurement, diagramming, and washing, Brown Bear is ready to proceed. But first he must count the sheep to be sure he has the right quantity, and another familiar trope enters the story. Knowledgeable listeners know what follows when bears (and children) start counting sheep: sleep. The sheep turn off the lights and wish the bear a goodnight. The tale is mildly pleasant, but it’s still a commonplace theme, and this version adds nothing much new to the realm of bedtime stories. The artwork features stylized animals with shades of brown and blue predominating. Those in search of current titles from China may wish to consider adding this title as representative.
Pleasantly familiar but nothing new. (Picture book. 3-6)