cover image Let's Go Home, Little Bear

Let's Go Home, Little Bear

Martin Waddell. Candlewick Press (MA), $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-56402-131-1

They're back! Little Bear and Big Bear, arguably the most winning ursine specimens since Paddington and Pooh, return to print in a thoroughly delectable sequel to Can't You Sleep, Little Bear? Waddell sticks to much the same successful structure as in the first tale--a peacefully unwinding yarn with minimal plot but a great deal of heart--concentrating here on scary noises rather than on fear of the dark. On a walk through the wintry woods with Big Bear, the ever-cautious Little Bear encounters a number of worrisome sounds (`` `I thought I heard something!' Little Bear said. `What did you hear?' said Big Bear. `Drip, drip, drip,' said Little Bear. `I think it's a Dripper!' '') Big Bear patiently reassures him, pointing out the source of each noise, and when his wee charge finally tuckers out, carries him home to the fittingly snug and cozy Bear Cave, where they finish the day with a story in the Bear Chair in front of a crackling fire. Waddell's pacing is impeccable, neither meandering nor overlong; with just a few strokes of her pencil and the subtlest of shading, Firth gives life, character and a remarkable range of emotion to the winsome duo. Another flawless bedtime story from these talented collaborators, this is family life at its tender best. Ages 3-up. (Apr.)