BEAR SNORES ON

Karma Wilson, Author, Jane Chapman, Illustrator , illus. by Jane Chapman. S&S/ McElderry $16 (40p) ISBN 978-0-689-83187-4

The title also serves as the book's refrain: because he's hibernating, the fluffy, snoring Bear remains oblivious as Mouse, Hare, Badger, Mole, Wren and Raven seek refuge in his cave from the blowing snow and frigid temperatures. Working in soft-textured acrylics, Chapman (Happy and Honey) makes both the biting weather and the warm, womb-like shelter of Bear's cave palpable. The once bedraggled animals perk up considerably, and first-time author Wilson describes the ensuing high spirits with a musical flair: "They tweet and they titter./ They chat and they chitter./ But the bear snores on." There's a moment of tension when Bear unexpectedly wakes up and the uninvited guests wonder if they'll be evicted. But Wilson demonstrates how well she knows her audience: the bear only bemoans the fact that he slept through all the fun; the unwitting host proves that he may be the biggest party animal of all. Ages 3-7. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 11/26/2001
Release date: 01/01/2002
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