Review by Booklist Review
In spring Big Bear steps out of her winter den accompanied by tiny, wobbly youngster Little One. Together they roam the forest where Big Bear imparts important life lessons to her cub: be gentle with friends; enjoy long summer days; stalk quietly to catch a fish; swim safely in the lake; and fill up on ripe autumn berries. When winter returns, an older and wiser Little One accompanies Mom back to their safe, warm den, where the two curl up to await another spring. Weaver's debut picture book offers a simple tale of togetherness and growing independence, rooted in nature yet clearly meant to also represent the experiences of young children. The soft charcoal illustrations exude a cozy, safe feel. They depict seasonal changes to the bears' habitat, curiosity about all the new things Little One learns, and wonder at the natural world. This makes a good choice for spring story hours and pairs nicely with Kevin Henkes' Old Bear (2008) and April Pulley Sayre's Eat like a Bear (2013).--Weisman, Kay Copyright 2016 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Gorgeously drafted charcoal artwork and understated writing create a yearlong journey for two bears in this terrifically self-assured first book from British author-artist Weaver. As Big Bear and Little One emerge from their den, it's evident that this is the younger bear's first experience of spring. "There's so much to discover in your new world," the bear's mother explains. The pages that follow are full of moments of teaching and learning, from "how to be gentle with friends" (a family of hedgehogs stares up, not without some nervousness, at the much larger bears) to how to catch fish and swim. Weaver's charcoals make exceptional use of a full range of whites, grays, and blacks-in one night scene, the bears stand in silhouette against a darkening sky, tiny stars spattered overhead-and she's equally adept at conveying the bears' massive, furry bulk as she is at the delicate grasses and dry autumn leaves of their forest surroundings. A reassuring togetherness carries the bears, and readers, forward as the book comes full circle with the return of winter. Ages 3-7. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review
PreS-Gr 1-A mother bear and her cub journey throughout the seasons in Weaver's picture book debut. The slightly anthropomorphized Big Bear and Little One delight in their woodland home, catching fish, eating berries, making friends, and simply enjoying the wind and the stars. Brief, gentle text and Big Bear's generous, comforting presence make for a soothing read. Black-and-white charcoal illustrations support this peaceful mood by showcasing the natural surroundings: scenes of the forest, lake, and cave are simultaneously glorious and cozy. Weaver effectively combines the velvet quality of charcoal and the rough patterns of the textured paper background to capture the beauty in dandelions, night skies, sunbeams, and sleeping bears. VERDICT A sweet parent-child story for bedtime that evokes safety, peace, and plenty.-Sarah Stone, San Francisco Public Library © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
A mother bear and her newborn cub move through the seasons in this British import. The text is brief and simple, the language lyrical. An adult female, Big Bear, introduces her Little One to new places and other animals. She demonstrates how to forage for food and, albeit somewhat obscurely, "how to enjoy the long summer days." When winter comes she leads her cub back up to their den in the hills to settle down for their winter's sleep. Beautifully designed and executed charcoal illustrations offer a single scene on each double-page spread. Debut author/illustrator Weaver uses the limited palette of black, white, and gray masterfully. She is particularly skilled in conveying the play of light, as in a picture that shows mother and child ambling into a forest glade, where black tree trunks and gray leaves are backlit by soft but bright sunlight. White space is used effectively, especially in the rush of a river and a blustery snowstorm. The texture of the paper the drawings were composed on shows through, enhancing the furriness of the bears and the blurred beauty of a stand of trees reflected in a lake. Although a few touches of anthropomorphism creep into the text, they don't detract from the authenticity (and more than likely will add to the appeal) of this lovely depiction of the natural world. Quietly stunning. (Picture book. 3-6) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.