Love Songs of the Little Bear: Love Song of the Little Bear/Green Song/Song of Wind & Rain/Snow Song

Margaret Wise Brown, Author, Susan Jeffers, Author, Susan Jeffers, Illustrator
Margaret Wise Brown, Author, Susan Jeffers, Author, Susan Jeffers, Illustrator Hyperion Books $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7868-0509-9
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This fitful collection of four previously unprinted poems by the author of Goodnight Moon proves that posthumous publication is risky business. The art, dynamically presented, has the tenderness of Jeffers's work in the McDuff series as well as the illustrator's well-developed sensitivity to nature. As Jeffers envisions the verses, a bear family explores four seasons of a world filled with fields of white daisies, streams with puddle ducks, flower-bedecked cottages and an especially picturesque snowfall. But even the beauty and sweetness of Jeffers's images, the warmth of the bear family and the varied perspectives Jeffers employs do not add enough luster to bolster the unpolished text. Little Bear's first ""song,"" for example, includes these lines: ""A little bear was singing/ In words that seemed to say/ It's a long time that/ I'll love you/ Never, never go away/ It's a long time that I'll love you/ And if I seem to stray/ It's only that I'm watching/ The flowers bloom in May."" The language, unfortunately, lacks the rhythm, simplicity and long-lasting literary merit on which Brown's reputation is based. Ages 3-6. (Mar.)
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