Written by Tony Mitton, Illustrated by Alison Brown
Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2015
Here is a bear who has nowhere to go,
So he’s plodding along through the cold winter snow.
The plot in a nutshell: A bear finds shelter (and more) from the cold.
The bear is freezing cold in the snow and is looking for a warm place to sleep. He spots a hole, but it’s already the home of a fox and her cubs. He tries a hole in a tree, but is turned away by the owl who lives there. Then he sees a farmhouse and peeks in the window, where he sees a warm fire burning in the fireplace. He steps inside and finds a little girl, all alone, looking out the window. When she sees Snowy Bear, she picks him up and cuddles him. They play a while, then she reads him a story and they head to bed, happy to have each other.
This story, from author Tony Mitton, is a great choice for a cold snowy night when you are cozy and safe at home. It’s a little disconcerting to see this bear cub and the little girl left entirely alone, but that also serves to make it more comforting when they find each other. The story’s rhyming text has a soothing cadence and lovely phrases that do half the job of bringing the snowy landscape to life. The other half is expertly handled by Alison Brown’s illustrations, in acrylic paint and colored pencils. Snowy Bear is adorably pudgy, like a fat little marshmallow with legs. You have to suspend some disbelief with this one, but your little one will likely cuddle closer to their teddy bear and feel warm and loved.
And what did we learn? What I take away from this book is that sometimes when you find what you’re looking for, you get more than you expected.