PreS-K-This bright, bouncy picture book doesn't quite live up to its potential, but may still be a popular addition to larger collections. A big brown bear follows a buzzing bee in hopes of finding honey. Two geese tag along in search of berries, and they are followed by three mice looking for corn. Few listeners will be surprised when the tale turns around abruptly-the catalyst is a swarm of bees-and the animals end up in a heap. In addition to the predictability of the plot, an occasional awkwardness in Catchpool's choice of words weakens the book (is honey really gummy?). However, the author uses repetitive phrases, similar sentence structures, and ever-popular animal noises to good advantage. Cabban's illustrations, somewhat reminiscent of those by Martin Waddell, contribute significantly to the book's appeal. The brown bear looks warm, fuzzy, and friendly; the white geese are awkwardly endearing; and the pink-nosed mice are downright adorable. The simple pastoral background has blue skies, abundant sunshine, and bright flowers. True to the book's cozy charm, the final collision doesn't seem to cause much harm. Young listeners might not find this simple adventure especially exciting, but those in search of cheerful stories with an old-fashioned feel will enjoy it.-Lisa Dennis, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
A yellow bee flies low across a meadow attracting the attention of a bear, who imagines the "sticky honey, yummy honey, drippy honey, gooey honey" waiting at the end of the bee's journey. This starts a sequence of events that confirms the bee's statement that the presence of a bear means there's trouble ahead. Maybe one bear can be fairly innocent, but two hungry geese see berries in their future, and then three little mice, looking for their own treats ("where there are geese, there's corn") have joined the parade of animals following the tiny bee. Creeping along towards the hive the animals try to keep quiet. "Buzz! Buzz! Growl! Growl! Honk! Honk! Squeak! Squeak! Shh!" Then "one yellow bee buzzed right into its nest . . . and one hundred yellow bees buzzed out!" The animals attempt to make a hasty retreat, each thinking the other is after them. Unfortunately, in their effort to get away, they all manage to trip over one another and collapse in a heap. Flying over the tangled animals, the bee claims, "I knew there'd be trouble." Delightfully sunny illustrations depict the full range of emotions on the animals' faces as they attempt to creep stealthily along-the tiptoeing bear is priceless-and then frantically try to escape. After pages of charming individual action, the next-to-last double-paged spread finds them all grinning together. These new friends need more adventures together. (Picture book. 3-7)