FICTION

Little Cub

. November 2012. 32p. 978-0-39924-235-9. 16.99.
COPY ISBN
PreS-Gr 2–Little Cub and Old Bear are back in a tale that is part prequel, part adoption story, and all heart. Little Cub is sad and lonely. He has no one to take care of him, teach him how to catch fish, help him get honey, and be with him during the long dark nights. Old Bear is sad and lonely. He has no one to teach, share his food with, and keep him company during the long dark nights. One day he finds Little Cub whimpering and alone. “‘Who do you belong to?’ asked Old Bear./‘I belong to me…But maybe I could belong to you.’” And of course Old Bear names him, takes him home, feeds him, puts him to bed, tells him a story, and the rest is history. The charming pencil and gouache illustrations capture the very essence of bears, while still rendering them sweet and appealing. The backgrounds are stark white with detailed, realistic trees, rocks, grasses, bees, and more. The patterned text, with alternating pages describing the cub’s concerns, followed by the related concerns of Old Bear, works beautifully. The wording is descriptive, economical, and deceptively simple. Dunrea packs a huge amount of emotion into his limited text and engaging art. A delight for fans of these characters and a lovely next step for children ready to move beyond the “Gossie and Friends” series (Houghton Harcourt).–Amy Lilien-Harper, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT
In this backstory to Old Bear and His Cub, Little Cub, who lives under a pile of rocks, is cold and hungry. Old Bear is warm and sated and lives in a comfortable cabin. Both are lonely, and each needs to care for--and be cared for by--someone. Dunrea's characteristic warm-hearted pencil and gouache illustrations bring the bears and the entire forest to life.
The endearing duo from Old Bear and His Cub (rev. 1/11) returns with the backstory of how they met. Little Cub, who appears to live under a pile of rocks, is cold and hungry. Old Bear is warm and sated and lives in a comfortable cabin in the woods. Both bears are lonely, though, and hate the dark nights. And each needs someone to care for -- and be cared by (especially Little Cub, who is unable to secure food for himself). Dunrea’s characteristic warm-hearted pencil and gouache illustrations bring the bears and the entire forest to life. Old Bear, with tufted eyebrows, white whiskers, and pink cheeks, seems gruff (“Stop that yowling”), but his tender handling of Little Cub belies his imposing appearance. Meanwhile, Little Cub’s big smile shows that he recognizes a kindred spirit when he sees one. Old Bear welcomes Little Cub into his home and, no longer lonely, he warms the dark night for them both with a bedtime story -- the tale of a grumpy old bear who once lived all alone. julie roach

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