Little One

Jo Weaver. Peachtree, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-56145-924-7
Gorgeously drafted charcoal artwork and understated writing create a yearlong journey for two bears in this terrifically self-assured first book from British author-artist Weaver. As Big Bear and Little One emerge from their den, it’s evident that this is the younger bear’s first experience of spring. “There’s so much to discover in your new world,” the bear’s mother explains. The pages that follow are full of moments of teaching and learning, from “how to be gentle with friends” (a family of hedgehogs stares up, not without some nervousness, at the much larger bears) to how to catch fish and swim. Weaver’s charcoals make exceptional use of a full range of whites, grays, and blacks—in one night scene, the bears stand in silhouette against a darkening sky, tiny stars spattered overhead—and she’s equally adept at conveying the bears’ massive, furry bulk as she is at the delicate grasses and dry autumn leaves of their forest surroundings. A reassuring togetherness carries the bears, and readers, forward as the book comes full circle with the return of winter. Ages 3–7. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 12/07/2015
Release date: 03/01/2016
Genre: Children's
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