Ethan Long's books have a great energy to them - a silly, slightly frenetic energy that reminds me of toddlerhood. Long's newest book, Lion & Tiger & Bear: Tag! You're it!, has that great energy paired with a great story and a delicious palette. The title of this book and the endpapers that are a map of Green Hills Hollow where the trio of animals live lead me to think that Lion & Tiger & Bear: Tag! You're It! will be the first in a series and I can't wait to see what this trio of friends gets up to next.
But first, inspired by the beautiful morning in Green Hills Hollow, Lion is enjoying some time in his Alone Spot. He is immersed in painting a picture. But Bear and Tiger have other ideas. They want to play tag.
Over and over, Bear and Tiger try to draw Lion in. Lion becomes increasingly frustrated. There is one superb two page spread where we see the trio all over Green Hills Hollow, Lion trying out different places to paint and avoid his tag playing friends (in a tree, on a raft in the river, in a deep hole) and his friends finding him. It reminds me very much of the way a toddler will draw you in with relentlessness and an unending reserve of energy. Lion finally snaps and gets the time he needs to finish his masterpiece - a painting of the three friends! The final page shows Lion tagging Bear and running off...
Source: Review Copy