cover image Big Bear, Small Mouse

Big Bear, Small Mouse

Karma Wilson, illus. by Jane Chapman. S&S/McElderry, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4814-5971-6

This is more an opposites primer than a full-fledged story, but it’s nonetheless a fine addition for fans of Wilson and Chapman’s Bear series. “Big, big, big!” Bear is friends with “small, small, small!” Mouse, proof that opposites not only attract but are also fun to look at. As the duo walks through the forest, various friends appear—readers will recognize Badger, Rabbit, and others from the previous Bear books—representing additional contrasts in terms of size, speed, audio level, and habitat: “What’s that up above?/ There’s a flutter in the sky./ Wren is flying low,/ while Owl is soaring high.” The circle of friends is complete when the birds’ geographic opposites, Mole and Gopher, “tunnel up and join the happy crowd./ The sun sets on the quiet woods,/ but all the friends are loud!” Chapman alternates lush forest scenes with distilled images set against white backdrops—a nifty visual contrast of its own—before wrapping up with the friends seeking shelter in Bear’s lair; the cave party, aglow with firelight, is a lovely and reassuring signature of the series. Ages 3–7. (Nov.)