What is the bravest thing in the world? A brave bear, of course! And who is the best at helping a little bear feel brave? His dad.
It is a hot, hot day. Dad Bear says, “I think a pair of hot bears is probably the hottest thing in the world.” So Little Bear suggests they go to the river to cool down. It’s a long way. Little Bear tries to impress his Dad by doing a big jump from one rock to another, but he falls over. When he picks himself up and keeps going, his dad says, “I think a brave bear is probably the bravest thing in the world.” For very young children just beginning to dare to do new things and their supportive and loving parents, this gentle read-aloud just might be the best thing in the world.
Taylor’s (Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise) concise narration is resonant with developmental authenticity and psychological insight, with just enough repetition to lend a pleasing lilt; it’s the emotional heart of this story. Hughes (The Little ) brings it home with instantly endearing characters and fine, fluid pencil texturing that has a marvelous plasticity, whether it’s delineating the bears’ shaggy coats, the bark of a tree, or the swirling waters of the river. —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
This lovely book captures the languid mood of a hot day along with the easy rhythms of a sweet father-child connection…With her small, dense pencil strokes, Hughes (“Wild,” “The Little Gardener”) gives her bears utterly peaceable expressions and long, soft-looking fur that may cause readers to fondly recall the work of Paul Galdone. —The New York Times Book Review
The brief text and the message that bravery is simply carrying on in spite of failure make this a fine offering for youngsters just trying their wings. —School Library Journal
Hughes’ detailed pencil illustrations show incredible texture, from the sweeping strokes of the bears’ fur to the gnarled trees and brushy forest. Earthy tones of browns and greens fade into the pulsating yellow and orange sky. There are lessons here to be sure, but it is a warm family story most of all. —Kirkus Reviews
The playful cadence of Taylor’s sparing text and the vibrancy of words like “jumpiest!” make this ideal for reading aloud. Whether it’s used for reading or listening, this glowing anecdote is sure to appeal to the overly ambitious Little Bear in each of us. —Booklist