School Library Journal, September 2012
DUNREA, Olivier, Little Cub. illus.by author 32 p. Philomel. Nov. 2012
Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-399-24235-9.
PreS-Gr 2---Little Cub and Old Bear are back in a tale that is part prequel, part adoption story, and all heart. Little Cub is sad and lonely. He has no one to take care of him, teach him how to catch fish, help him get honey, and be with him during the long dark nights. Old Bear is sad and lonely. He has no one to teach, share his food with, and keep him company during the long dark nights. One day he finds Little Cub whimpering and alone. "Who do you belong to?" asked Old Bear/'I belong to me...But maybe I could belong to you.'" And of course Old Bear names him, takes him home, feeds him, puts him to bed, tells him a story, and the rest is history. The charming pencil and gouache illustrations capture the very essence of bears, while still rendering them sweet and appealing. The backgrounds are stark white with detailed, realistic tree, rocks, grasses, bees, and more. The patterned text, with alternating pages describing the cub's concerns, followed by the related concerns of Old Bear, works beautifully. The wording is descriptive, economical, and deceptively simple. Dunrea packs a huge amount of emotion into his limited text and engaging art. A delight for fans of these characters and a lovely next step for children ready to move beyond the "Gossie and Friends" series (Houghton Harcourt).---Amy Lilian-Harper, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT
Kirkus Review Issue Date: February 15, 2013 Online Publish Date: January 28, 2013
Meet a Felix and Oscar of the feathered variety in this pitch-perfect tale of friends as different as different can be.
Roommates (or, rather, coop mates) Jasper and Joop could not be more unalike. Where Jasper is meticulous and tidy, Joop is carefree and messy. Where Jasper murmurs a disapproving "Muddy mud" or "Dusty straw," Joop will honk a thrilled "MUDDY mud!" or "DUSTY straw!" But when Joop goes sticking his beak into a beehive, it's Jasper who has the presence of mind to suggest that they run. Fortunately, even as they escape, Joop is able to show his best friend that sometimes getting dirty and wet can be a lot of fun. Few will be able to resist Jasper in his striped hat and matching tie, though scruffy-feathered Joop is the one kids will identify with the most readily. In Joop, the sheer joy of existence flows readily from the page. His is a life of exploiting pleasure in the here and now. Opposites may attract, but it's clear that Joop's carefree embrace of all things mucky will win the day (and the hearts of Joop-like readers everywhere) in this addition to Dunrea's diminutive gosling series.
A winning tale of opposites attracting in spite of the odds. (Picture book. 4-8)
Front Cover above; Full Title page left