George, a big brown bear with a lot of household chores, keeps putting off the little tan bear Bartholomew's requests to play. Not until George finishes gathering firewood, hanging up laundry, sweeping and doing the dishes does he finally have time for Ba. After waiting so long, Ba appears to be no longer interested in playing and says "Nah, Nah, Nah" to each one of George's suggestions. Then Bartholomew shows George how he really wants to play—carrying firewood, bringing in the laundry and sweeping the floor. After making games of these chores, they go for a picnic and fall asleep. If George had just let Bartholomew play with him while he did the chores, the entire day would probably have been more fun for both of them. The illustrations in soft pencil and colored markers are simple and warm, showing Bartholomew to be as playful and inquisitive as the kitten who tags along from forest to house and back to forest. Parents will learn as much as children from this book, which is one of several George and Bartholomew stories. 2001, Candlewick Press, $15.99. Ages 2 to 5. Reviewer: Carol Raker Collins
School Library Journal
PreS-K-The phrase "in a minute" has to be the bane of young children everywhere. Why must adults stack wood, hang laundry, and do dishes when it is obviously time to play? That's Bartholomew's conundrum, as he waits for George to finish his housework. When the older bear finally has time to spare, he discovers Bartholomew wants to carry firewood, bring in laundry, and sweep. Miller achieves just the right balance between the text and the illustrations. Her deceptively simple lines express many moods and lend enough detail to a scene without becoming busy. Thick pencil lines and colored markers emphasize the softness of the story and give a sense of homey comfort. The exception occurs when George loses his temper and "IN A MINUTE!" sprawls across the page in heavy pencil strokes. The placement of small frames between some full-page spreads conveys a sense of time passing as Bartholomew waits, and waits, and waits. A gray cat watches the proceedings, and, finally, sleeps contentedly by the picnicking bears, who have also fallen asleep at book's end. As with the other titles about these creatures, there are gentle lessons for both youngsters and adults.-Alison Kastner, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
The lovable, toddler-friendly bear duo of George and Bartholomew returns in a humorous tale about waiting. Miller's (I Love You Just the Way You Are, 1998, etc.) affectionate pair enact a universal scenario for young children; George is busily doing his chores while young "Ba" trails after him, entreating George to come play. "In a minute, Ba" is George's inevitable response as he hurries through the daily housework. However, when George finally finishes and is ready to play, he receives a surprise: Ba doesn't want to play childhood games, he wants to play housework! Thus, Ba and George diligently bring in more firewood, do more laundry, and re-sweep the floors until the exhausted pair treat themselves to a nice luncheon and a well-earned snooze. Miller reveals a keen understanding and a wry appreciation of the parent/toddler relationship. With a gentle touch and a dash of humor, she sympathetically examines a familiar source of strife between a parent and child. The full-color drawings, rendered in soft pencil, are sweetly charming. Subtle colors compliment the gently blurred drawings, extending the cozy feel of the tale. Parents and children alike will enjoy repeated readings of this appealing and reassuring story. (Picture book. 2-5)