A bluish mist still hangs over the forest when Mommy Bear takes her cub for a morning walk. "The bears walked together/ through grass drenched with dew. Little Bear skipped,/ as little bears do." Freedman aptly conveys the cub's sense of wonder, as newcomer Ho portrays the furry fellow bathing in shafts of sunlight that stream through the trees, and heading off to play with all his animal friends (except for Little Rabbit, who's still dozing). The artwork emulates that of Rory Tyger's in Freedman's Good Night, Sleep Tight, also starring a bear cub and caregiver. This charmer of a story eschews a conventional plot in favor of a soft-focus testimony to the pleasures of observing life and feeling at home in one's surroundings. The wide-open spaces of Little Bear's universe beckon him to explore; in one of Ho's most velvety watercolors, the cub sits on his mother's shoulder and gazes off into the mountains, proclaiming, "Up here,... you can see the whole world!" But his environment is also cozy and reassuring, especially since his super-size, honey- colored mother is always close by. Pretty flowers, thick green grass and cute, smiling animals underscore Little Bear's enthusiasm, "It's a beautiful day-and it's just begun!" Ages 2-6. (May) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
PreS-In this fuzzy, warm story, a mother and baby bear watch as the animals of the woodland all wake up. The brief, rhyming text is great to read to toddlers with short attention spans: "As the silvery moon/faded high in the sky,/Twinkle-eyed voles/came scurrying by." The illustrations are done in wispy, softly muted colors that give the effect of a foggy, misty morning. The pictures are large and cover the spreads, making this a good book for storytimes.-Sheilah Kosco, Rapides Parish Library, Alexandria, LA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.