Synopses & Reviews
This charming and highly original story reveals what happens at a vacation cottage once the summer visitors have left for the winter. With fewer than two dozen words of text, the story is told primarily in extravagantly detailed pictures, rendered in pen and ink and watercolor. Children and adults will revel in the activities of a family of bears that takes up residence in the empty camp the story of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" in reverse.
"In a near-wordless offering, Hayes's (Time for the Fair) finely detailed pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations cleverly unspool a playful spin on The Three Bears. As a family closes up its lakeside vacation house at the end of summer, the compositions foreshadow what's to come: the father straightens bear figurines on the mantel and places a copy of All About Bears in the bookcase while the mother fills a large jar with honey. When they pack the car, the dad insists that his son take his oversized stuffed teddy back to his bedroom. The boy leaves the front door ajar, providing easy entry for the good-natured bear clan that immediately move in and make themselves at home. The two cubs jump on the bed with the stuffed bear, and the mama bear happily discovers the container of honey. In deep winter, the papa and a cub ice-fish (and, in a kid-pleasing turn, hook the boy's formerly missing baseball cap); all four bears go sledding in their hosts' canoe. Gaiety abounds as the bears welcome other woodland creatures to a festive New Year's Eve party, after which the revelers hibernate peacefully, awakening in time for the winter visitors to clean up (that baseball cap ends up on the boy's teddy). A progression of spreads laid out with multiple panels alternate with larger scenes, enlivening the presentation; and the more closely readers look, the more they'll find to like. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Readers will enjoy the many fun and clever details as the story unfolds, particularly on the spreads with multiple panels. This little gem is perfect for independent reading or sharing with a small group." School Library Journal
About the Author
Watercolor artist and illustrator Karel Hayes has participated in solo, juried, and invitational exhibitions throughout the United States. Her paintings have been shown at the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History; the Fine Arts Center in Taos, New Mexico; and in New York City at the Salmagundi Club, the Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club, and the National Arts Club. Her drawings have appeared in several magazines and she has illustrated more than ten books. She lives in Center Harbor, New Hampshire.