cover image Bear and Mrs. Duck

Bear and Mrs. Duck

Elizabeth Winthrop. Holiday House, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8234-0687-6

When Mrs. Duck comes to babysit for Bear while Nora goes to the store, the story of their time togethercharming and full of gently funny dialogueprovides plenty of good press for babysitters everywhere. Bear doesn't like anything about Mrs. Ducknot her floppy hat, or her beady eyes, or her fat, fluffy tail. All he intends to do, no matter what she suggests, is sit and wait for Nora to come home. However, this quickly becomes boring, and Mrs. Duck lures him into first drawing pictures, then reading a favorite book. She flaps up to the top shelf to get it, and floats down again. ``Wow,'' says Bear. She plays roll-the-ball by dipping upside down. And she can retrieve a stray sailboat by paddling over to it. Most important, she doesn't try to argue with him when he is feeling bad. When Nora comes home, Bear is relieved and happy, but doesn't seem to mind the idea of Mrs. Duck's next visit. Brewster's pastels push this sweetly winning story along; this is a good book for helping children ease into the idea of separation from their parents. Ages 3-8. (Oct.)