cover image Old Bear and His Cub

Old Bear and His Cub

Olivier Dunrea, Philomel, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-24507-7

In this gently comic picture book about the push-and-pull between parent (or grandparent) and child, Old Bear and Little Cub don't always see eye to eye, although they love each other. At breakfast, Old Bear directs Little Cub to eat all his porridge ("No, I won't," said Little Cub. "Yes, you will," said Old Bear). One more "No, I won't" earns Little Cub a hard stare, followed by Old Bear's desired result. The exchange repeats itself when Little Cub would rather not wear a scarf outside or be careful on a craggy rock. But the tables are turned when Old Bear starts sneezing, and he receives some TLC from the young bear. Dunrea (the Gossie & Friends books) unfolds his action on an ample white background with dashes of color—a stand of evergreens, a cozy blue blanket—and his rosy-cheeked characters command center stage. Old Bear, an imposing mass of shaggy brown fur, sports a scruffy gray muzzle and eyebrows that suggest years of hard-earned wisdom. Little Cub, small enough to be handily tossed in the air or ride on a shoulder, is the perfect playful contrast. Ages 3–8. (Nov.)