cover image The Little Bear Book

The Little Bear Book

Anthony Browne. Doubleday Books for Young Readers, $4.95 (22pp) ISBN 978-0-385-26006-0

With a perhaps unwitting nod to Har old and the Purple Crayon , Browne has created a book for readers younger than his usual audience. A white bear, upon meeting a grouchy gorilla, draws him a stuffed toy to cuddle. The bear's next encounter is with a crocodile, whose wide jaws snap shut on a trumpet (also drawn by the bear). A lion gets a crown and an elephant is paralyzed by the carefully sketched appearance of a mouse. Then the bear draws a hole through a wall, and waves good-bye to readers. Helpfully, each animal is iden tified, and because everything the bear draws appears in white, readers will have no trouble distinguishing from the artist's fictional distractions and the rest of the forest world. Simultaneously tricky and simple, the book highlights Browne's gift for distilling concepts into cool, crisp words, phrases and pictures. Ages 1-5. (May)