From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 1—Bear has found something fantastic-a little box that Mouse will just love. But by the time Bear shows it to his friend, he is unsure of his gift's value, because everyone he has met along the way has pooh-poohed it as either too small, too ordinary, or better in someone else's hands. But Bear and Mouse aren't friends for nothing. Sure enough, Mouse agrees that the box is "the greatest thing ever." Bear's journey from euphoria to doubt to euphoria again is gently rendered. There is not a lot of detail in this book, but not a lot is needed. Pastels provide the backdrop for the text, while Bear and his detractors stand in contrast on a white page, carrying the story with their expressions and body language. Young listeners, particularly those who understand the value of leaves and stones and bottle caps, will love this book. They will hope that Bear will remain steadfast and trust in Mouse, who rewards Bear's thoughtfulness with the gratitude of a true friend. Absolutely charming.—Kara Schaff Dean, Needham Public Library, MA
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Pleased to find a small, empty box, Bear calls it "the greatest thing ever!" and he decides to take it to his friend Mouse. Along the way, he meets Monkey, Owl, Fox, Elephant, Squirrel, and Rabbit, but no one really appreciates his find. Bear begins to doubt his earlier enthusiasm until Mouse comes along. After listening to Bear and exploring the box inside and out, Mouse pronounces it "the greatest thing ever!" and curls up inside it for a nap. Designed and illustrated with a minimum of fuss, the book can be enjoyed by very young children, while somewhat older ones may want to talk about how they feel when others don't value the things they treasure. In his first picture book, author-illustrator Foley shows unusual restraint in letting essential lines, areas of flat color, and a little stippled shading illustrate the equally spare text. In an age of visual glitz, this simple picture book speaks in a refreshingly unpretentious way. Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved