cover image Somewhere for Little Bear

Somewhere for Little Bear

Britta Teckentrup. Crocodile, $18.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-62371-683-7

In a gentle allegory, delicately worked, stipple-textured forest scenes create an idyllic home for Little Bear, who loves his favorite rock and his cozy cave. Soon, though, a fire destroys the woods; dancing flames appear tinted in the same autumn colors as the forest, making a scene that’s graceful as well as scary. After Little Bear flees for his life, he must bravely search for a new place to call home. Every time he locates a likely-looking spot, though, other creatures protest: “Go away and find your own burrow!” shouts a rabbit. At last, in a very different forest, he finds a place and creatures who welcome him. Teckentrup (A Happy Place) presents the general dilemma of searchers everywhere, paying particular attention to those who never dreamed they’d have to leave their homes and who find themselves in places bewilderingly different from those they came from. More than physical circumstances, the welcome that Little Bear receives makes it clear that it’s the warmth of fellow creatures that will help him to settle in, a message that serves as a jumping-off point for reader discussions. Ages up to 5. (July)