cover image Jesse Bear

Jesse Bear

Nancy White Carlstrom. Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, $15 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-02-717280-5

Like the popular Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear?, this winsome picture book features the exuberant and lovable Jesse, whose curiosity this time leads him to water. Throughout the day Jesse's parents try to keep him dry as he dabbles in the aquarium, waters the flowers and plays in the birdbath, but finally they let him splash about in his own pool: ""Boating, floating, hey hey/ Getting wet is okay/ Hooray! Hooray!'' Each incident is accompanied by Jesse's chanting and by a cartoon caption that cautions, ``Better not get wet, Jesse Bear.'' Degen's clever watercolor and pen-and-ink drawings are full of surprisesas when the somber portrait of a bonneted relative hanging on the wall reacts in the next picture to Jesse's aquarium mess. The lilting, strongly rhymed text and the warm, loving drawings are every bit as appealing as those in the first Jesse book. Ages 3-6. (March)