A Story for Small Bear

Alice B. McGinty, illus. by Richard Jones. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-984852-27-4
A mama bear and her cub prepare for hibernation in this gentle seasonal bedtime story by McGinty. When Mama Bear sniffs frost on the air, she says it’s time to start their winter slumber. “Will you tell me stories before we sleep?” requests Small Bear. “If you help—no dilly, no dally,” replies Mama in what becomes a refrain. As signs of winter persist (“wind was biting, winter knocking”), the pair gather pine sprigs, bathe in a stream, and tuck into a meal of berries and acorns, and Small Bear, doing her best not to dally, gets a final moment with favorite forest spots. When at last the duo snuggle into their cozy den, the tale that Mama Bear recounts brings the book to a satisfying full circle. Working with acrylic and watercolor, Jones layers illustrations for a richly textured effect. Smudgy landscapes create calming backdrops against which wildflower-filled forest scenes play out; together with McGinty’s expert prose and pacing, they elevate a predictable arc into something memorable. Ages 3–7. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 11/05/2020
Release date: 10/01/2020
Genre: Children's
Library Binding - 40 pages - 978-1-9848-5228-1
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