A shiny button, a soft cloud, a bush full of blueberries. Why, they’re treasures of course! At least they are to Little Bear; not so to the other animals he meets, who dismiss his finds as “junk.” Until Little Bear meets Little Bird.
“‘Ooo, a magic stick!’ said Little Bird.”
Aha! Finally, a creature after Little Bear’s heart.
Joyful creativity, humor and friendship abound in this picture book aimed at children ages 3-8. Bear and bird become proud captain and first mate aboard a tree-bark boat, parade around in “thinking hats” that swamp their heads and transform a hollow log into a giant trumpet. And they end their busy day dozing off together under a starry night sky.
Little Bear is a delightful creation with his soft, smudgy shape, rosy cheeks, dark eyes and tufty eyebrows. And Little Bird has similar appeal. Author/illustrator Stella Dreis has used a muted palette of predominantly greys and browns with soft pastel touches (apricot, yellow, blue and pink). Sometimes the illustrations take up a double spread; often they are small vignettes surrounded by white space. The amount of text varies too with short blocks of narrative and/or dialogue on some pages and bursts of only a few words on others (especially when the focus is on bear and bird’s finds). The language is simple throughout making this book accessible to even very young children.
Little Bear’s Treasures is a gem of a book—a beautiful read aloud at any time of day and a gorgeous bedtime story. Bear and bird will no doubt inspire young readers to explore the world around them and let their imaginations take flight.
Little Bear’s Treasures
Written and illustrated by Stella Dreis
Translated from German by Laura Szejnmann
Greystone Kids, 2020
Originally published in Austria in German in 2018 as Der Bärenvogelschatz.
You can buy a copy of Little Bear’s Treasures here.*
Reviews: Kirkus starred review
*Book purchases made via our affiliate link may earn GLLI a small commission at no cost to you.
Laura Taylor is the founder of world children’s literature blog Planet Picture Book. She is a small business copywriter, NAATI-certified translator of French into English and member of AUSIT. When she is not writing, she is reading, and chasing after her two young children. She tweets regularly @plapibo and posts at www.planetpicturebook.com