From Publishers Weekly
Stickland (The Christmas Bear) gives new meaning to the phrase "bear witness" in this rhyming story, in which a boy becomes convinced that his house is hosting an ever-growing gathering of ursine guests. "I lay in bed with all my toys," the boy narrates, as Stickland shows him in his bedroom surrounded by a predominately stuffed bear menagerie, "I thought I heard a furry noise." He finds friendly-looking bears of all sizes and colors rapidly taking over the downstairs, snacking on cupcakes and boogying to a jazz combo. They cheerfully make the boy part of the proceedings, but he soon realizes that every house has its occupancy limit, and rouses his father to disperse the crowd. In a nice touch, Stickland shows the sleepy father, who, rather than admonishing the boy that it's just a dream, stands at the top of the stairs and issues a loud and effective "Shoo!" Every full-bleed spread, bathed in an ethereal glow, conveys both the lateness of the hour and the giddily imaginary nature of the goings-on. Although the bears are unremarkable, their sheer volume makes up for what they lack in individual personalities. And the "Here we go again" punchline that wraps up the book should elicit giggles. Ages 2-6.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Preschool-Grade 1--A boy in bed, surrounded by his stuffed animals, hears a "furry noise" coming from outside his room. He goes to investigate and finds the whole house full of bears of all sizes having a party. He joins in the fun until he decides that maybe there are too many of them. He wakes his dad, who says "SHOO" and tucks his son back in bed. Just as the boy is about to drift off to sleep he hears the sound of sheep. Juvenile insomniacs may be comforted by this kindred spirit's efforts to fill his wakeful hours. Stickland's bears (and sheep) are totally comforting; however, his protagonist looks a bit mature to be surrounded by stuffed animals. The glowing watercolor artwork radiates warmth and comfort. The rhyming text is occasionally strained, e.g., "gone" and "one," or "door" and "saw." Still, the inviting full-page illustrations and tidy text boxes make this a pleasant choice for naptime, bedtime, or storyhours.
Jody McCoy, The Bush School, Seattle, WA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.