Bear in Love by Daniel Pinkwater with illustrations by Will Hillenbrand

Sometimes you just need a picture book to be sweet and gentle and maybe even a little bit quiet. Nap time, bed time, cuddle time - those are good times for a book like Bear in Love written by Daniel Pinkwater with illustrations by Will Hillenbrand. There's no punchline in this book, no big reveal. In fact, this is a great book to read to a toddler with a good attention span. Also, this book has songs, which makes it especially endearing. The kind of songs little kids sometimes sing, and yes, the kind of songs Winnie-the-Pooh sings.

Bear is a pretty simple fellow. He wakes up in the morning, stretched, feels the sun on his fur then looks for something to eat. One morning, something new and a little bit mysterious appears on a rock outside his cave. Bear smells it then tastes it then, crunching away, wanders off into the woods singing a song to himself, 

Very good, very good
Very good indeed
Very goof, yum, yum, yum
Very good indeed

The next day there are two carrots and a new song from bear. The next day there are three carrots and another new song. The next day a whole pile of carrots inspires this song,

Someone must like me
Someone is nice
Very good, yum yum yum
Someone is nice

Bear begins leaving things on the rock with the hopes of seeing this nice new friend but he keeps falling asleep. The treats get better and better (honeycomb, blueberries, raisin cookie, a chocolate bar with only two bites out of it) but the mystery is not solved until, one moonlit night, Bear sits waiting, singing a song, when he sees someone peeking from the bushes. "You are are some cute little bear," Bear says to the bunny in the bushes. "You are quite the big strong bunny," the bunny says. At this point the narrator breaks in and Pinkwater's sense of humor shines through, "You would think there would be some confusion at this point, but apparently not." The new friends discuss the extra-special treats left for each other then sing songs into the night.

Don't miss Daniel Pinkwater's new chapter books series for emerging readers, the first of which is Mrs Noodlekugel

Source: Review Copy

BEAR IN LOVE. Text copyright © 2012 by Daniel Pinkwater. Illustrations copyright © 2012 by Will Hilenbrand. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

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