The Winter Visitors

Karel Hayes, Author . Down East $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-89272-750-6

In a near-wordless offering, Hayes's (Time for the Fair ) finely detailed pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations cleverly unspool a playful spin on The Three Bears. As a family closes up its lakeside vacation house at the end of summer, the compositions foreshadow what's to come: the father straightens bear figurines on the mantel and places a copy of All About Bears in the bookcase while the mother fills a large jar with honey. When they pack the car, the dad insists that his son take his oversized stuffed teddy back to his bedroom. The boy leaves the front door ajar, providing easy entry for the good-natured bear clan that immediately move in and make themselves at home. The two cubs jump on the bed with the stuffed bear, and the mama bear happily discovers the container of honey. In deep winter, the papa and a cub ice-fish (and, in a kid-pleasing turn, hook the boy's formerly missing baseball cap); all four bears go sledding in their hosts' canoe. Gaiety abounds as the bears welcome other woodland creatures to a festive New Year's Eve party, after which the revelers hibernate peacefully, awakening in time for the winter visitors to clean up (that baseball cap ends up on the boy's teddy). A progression of spreads laid out with multiple panels alternate with larger scenes, enlivening the presentation; and the more closely readers look, the more they'll find to like. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 09/24/2007
Release date: 08/01/2007
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 32 pages - 978-1-4617-4342-2
Ebook - 32 pages - 978-1-4617-4228-9
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