From Publishers Weekly
Move over, Goodnight Moon . Margaret Wise Brown's enduring bedtime classic may have found a worthy successor in this collaboration by Waddell and Firth ( The Park in the Dark ; We Love Them ). Their gentle story is, in fact, highly reminiscent of Brown at her snug and cozy best. Set in a forest in winter, the tale features a winning bear duo--a great tender-hearted fellow named Big Bear and an exuberant toddler named Little Bear. After a busy day playing in the snow, the two retire to the Bear Cave, where Little Bear is bundled off to his bed in a shadowy corner while Big Bear settles down to read by the fireside. When Little Bear can't sleep--"I don't like the dark"--Big Bear fetches a tiny lantern and returns to his chair. This exchange is repeated several times, with Big Bear patiently bringing ever-larger lanterns, until finally the little chap points at the dark outside. The two venture forth to look at the night ("I've brought you the moon, Little Bear," said Big Bear. "The bright yellow moon and all the twinkly stars"), and the cub falls asleep in Big Bear's arms. Waddell's tranquil tale is perfectly attuned to a child's need for security and bedtime ritual; combined with Firth's serene watercolors, it's a triumph of genuine affection. Young readers will delight in the text's repetition and revel in the illustrations' warm details--as Big Bear reads in the aptly named Bear Chair (complete with claws and paws), for example, Little Bear can be glimpsed frolicking on his bed. These memorable bruins--worthy companions of Pooh and Paddington--inhabit a sweet, reassuring world that children (and adults) will want to enter again and again. Ages 3-up.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
PreSchool-- This warm, charming look at a small bear's fear of the dark is right on target for the preschool set. As Big Bear sits by the cozy fire trying to read, Little Bear, frightened of ``the dark all around us,'' cannot fall asleep. Sympathetic Big Bear lights lanterns in several sizes, attempting to banish the dark from the corners of their cave, but Little Bear wants more. Finally, when he is taken outside, cuddled close, and shown a full moon and twinkling stars, sleep comes instantly. Big Bear's compassion for his small charge is most evident in his loving facial expressions and in the warmth of the full-page watercolor and soft pencil illustrations. Blue arched borders around pages showing indoor scenes give the impression of looking into the cave from the dark outside; they provide a clear contrast to the wide-open snowy woodland settings at the book's beginning and end. Little Bear is the epitome of everychild, persistently (but endearingly) pestering for a little more attention and one last hug. The soft banter between the two characters, combined with a touch of repetitive phrasing, add to the book's strong child appeal. It's bound to become a beloved bedtime ritual in many households. --Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.