Sunday, August 09, 2009

Questions, Questions! A Very Curious Bear by Tony Mitton

Parents must field constant questions from curious preschoolers. That's the way it should be as the growing mind tries to find out everything, but moms and dads can be excused for sometimes growing weary of finding simple but satisfying answers to what are very complex questions.

Tony Mitton's new A Very Curious Bear (Random House, 2009) offers some help in this matter. His cute and curious cub is a veritable fountain of interrogatives, but unlike real parents, his big bear is both patient and wise, if not always scientifically accurate:

"Why does the stream seem to gurgle and babble?"

"It's whispering 'Dip in your toes for a dabble."

"Why does the rain come to wet the world through?"

"It's helping grow the things that we need to feed you!"

Little Bear's questions sometimes veer from the natural world to the philosophical, as when he sadly spots a favorite tree, uprooted by a storm and lying across the stream. Big Bear keeps his cool as he answers.

"Why does the wind and the weather above
Destroy such beautiful things that we love?"

"Bad things happen that also bring good.
Just look! There's a bridge where the old tree once stood."

Paul Howard's warm, soft illustrations of Little Bear and Big Bear out for their daily stroll make A Very Curious Bear a pleasant little book for snuggle time or bedtime reading, one that may answer some questions and perhaps engender some special conversations with a curious child.



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