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THE VERY SMALL by Joyce Dunbar


by Joyce Dunbar & illustrated by Debi Gliori

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-15-202346-1
Publisher: Harcourt

A tiny, fey woodland creature and an oversized baby bear form an unlikely friendship in this bewitching tale. Dunbar crafts a tale about the magic of friendship and the generosity of spirit it inspires. Giant Baby Bear discovers a very young, lost little creature in the woods and dubs him “the Very Small.” In an effort to soothe his apprehensive companion, Giant Baby Bear takes it home. However, the comforts of Baby Bear’s home prove dubious to the Very Small, who is alarmed by Mommy Bear’s oversized teeth and Daddy Bear’s huge face. Baby Bear willingly offers to share all that he has with the Very Small and even creates a miniature play area to entertain the tiny creature. Soon the two are sharing everything from dinner to a dip in the tub together. It takes a Giant Baby Bear–sized sneeze to return the foundling to its home, catapulting the Very Small out of bed and into the welcoming embrace of its own family. Dunbar’s gentle tale resonates with the grace and beauty of unselfish friendship. Gliori’s beguiling illustrations are in complete harmony with the tale, shining with the tenderness of the story. Full-page, full-bleed watercolor illustrations are done in a blend of light and bold hues; soft pastels convey the snug warmth of the Bear household while richly colored earth tones dominate the forest scenes. Fetching drawings depict the Very Small as a diminutive, faerie-like creature while Baby Bear’s stocky body is evocative of a large, ursine toddler. A delightfully whimsical and inviting tale that’s perfect for cuddle time. (Picture book. 3-7)