Big Brown Bear's Cave by Yuval Zommer

Big Brown Bear's Cave by Yuval Zommer
Review Copy from Candlewick Press
Story: Big Brown Bear has found the perfect cave, but he just can't settle in. Taking a stroll through a nearby neighborhood, he discovers that humans have caves too! Garages! And they are full of STUFF! Stuff must be the answer to his cave challenges, so BBB begins to fill his cave with stuff he "borrows" from the humans (who probably don't miss it at all...) When the stuff that is supposed to make him comfortable gets in the way of being with his bear buddies, the gang finds a solution. Instead of filling the cave with stuff, BBB fills the cave with his buddies and finally settles in for a good hibernation.

Pictures: Zommer's illustration style perfectly suits the chaos of the hoarder portion of the story.  He fills his pages with boxes and bits, BBB in the middle of it all trying to make it work. The two page spread when BBB sees that humans have caves too is immediately recognizable and hilarious. His palette is forest-y browns and blues, with pops of color for the "stuff." As he tries to solve the problem of not feeling at home in his cave, it is clear in the illustrations that BBB is thinking, feeling and working to find just the right solution.
Why Read? Why Buy?: I am a person who LOVES to clear out clutter and throw things away, so I related to this book and embraced it completely. I love the theme of filling your home with friends and loved ones versus inanimate objects, whether little listeners pick up on that theme or not. It is definitely one that can start a conversation and I think that's fantastic. That said, Big Brown Bear's Cave is also just a great read. Kids will engage with BBB's dilemma and cheer his solution.

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