MERRY CHRISTMAS, BIG HUNGRY BEAR!
This holiday sequel to The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear juxtaposes its very simple language with expressive, comically exaggerated paintings. As little Mouse sets up his tree and the presents beneath, an unseen narrator reminds him about his neighbor, "the big, hungry Bear." In the illustrations, Mouse responds by anxiously setting up padlocks and barricades, fearfully guarding his heap of gifts. But, hearing that the bear never gets any presents, he has a change of heart. The pleasure of this book isn't in novelty or surprise but in the Woods' utterly confident delivery. A solid choice for the very young, with a subtly rendered lesson about sharing. Ages 2-up. (Oct.)