cover image Good Night, Baby Bear

Good Night, Baby Bear

Frank Asch. Harcourt Children's Books, $14 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-15-200836-9

In this gentle, straightforward picture book, Mother Bear has a harder time than most parents getting her baby to sleep, as bedtime here means winter hibernation. The beleaguered mother fetches a snack and then a drink into the cave, but when Baby Bear says that he can't fall asleep without the moon, she is stumped--until her resourcefulness comes to the rescue. Baby Bear's realistic bit of grumbling only makes the book seem sweeter. Asch (Barnyard Lullaby; the Moonbear books) uses a soothing palette of browns and blues: the simple bear figures are darkly outlined, and the cave's background sponged to add texture and a touch of luminosity to the cavernous tones. The story is a welcome addition to the bedtime genre, one parents will be glad to have as a resource when it's time to get their own little ones to nod off. Ages 2-6. (Sept.)