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Merry Christmas, Big Hungry Bear! (Child's Play Library) Paperback – September 1, 2004
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Follows the unlikely relationship between a large and possibly scary bear and a tiny mouse who takes pity on him and brings him Christmas presents. With a strong message about sharing at Christmas, this also has a good ending full of suspense and will most definitely amuse adults as well as, or perhaps more than, children. Cork Evening Echo Mouse has an enormous collection of presents, but when reminded that the Hungry Bear may not have any, does he generously donate some to the Bear? He does not! He barricades his house in case the Bear comes and steals his gifts. Eventually the Christmas spirit wins through and Mouse makes and epic journey to the Bear's cave where he gets a Big Surprise. The expressions on Mouse's face are just the beginning of why the book is a quick favourite throughout all ages. Scholastic Best Books Supplement, 2005
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Several weeks ago I stopped at my local bookstore for one of my monthly visits, and while perusing the "New and Notable" section I recognized the illustrated mouse standing among a pile of Christmas packages. I snatched the book off the shelf faster than I could read the title, and immediately became engrossed! As in the first book, the illustrations in "Merry Christmas BIG HUNGRY BEAR!" are OUTSTANDING, in addition, the Woods have maintained the same cleaver writing style with the reader narrating the story. Children of all ages will enjoy this delightful Christmas tale about sharing and caring among unlikely friends.
The story actually begins on the title page; the beautifully illustrated two-page spread shows Little Mouse returning home with a sled full of packages. He lives in a hollow tree somewhere cold, because it has recently snowed and he's wearing a red coat with cap, and black snow boots. The narration begins on the next page, "Hello, little Mouse. I see you're ready for Christmas." The mouse, now tucked away in his cozy, little home is placing presents around a brilliantly decorated Christmas tree that's already loaded with gifts.
Turn the page, "My goodness! What a lot of presents. Are they all for you?" Now we see a proud little mouse presenting his mountain of gifts to the reader. Over the next few pages the narrator (that's you) reminds the Little Mouse about the Big, Hungry Bear who's all alone in the dark cave at the top of the hill. Little Mouse boards up his door, padlocks the gifts and places tacks all over the floor in an attempt to protect his belongings. Then, the mouse hears that the Big, Hungry Bear cries every Christmas because he never receives Christmas presents, not even from Santa Claus. Little Mouse is sad for his lonely neighbor, and decides to share Christmas with the Big, Hungry Bear. Much to Mouse's surprise the Big, Hungry Bear reciprocates the sentiment.
The very talented husband and wife team have done it again! This enchanting Christmas tale will have you immediately hooked on this adorable little mouse and his unlikely friend. The illustrations are very expressive for easy comprehension, and the melodic text captivates even the youngest listener. This hardbound book measures approximately 10" x 10" x 1½" and contains 40 beautifully rendered pages. One-year and up.
I highly recommend this book - was hard to find but found it on Amazon.
I would highly recommend any book by Audrey and Don Wood - you will not be disappointed! You will give them to your children to pass down to your grandchildren. They are quality written, illustrated books!