Can You See a Little Bear? by James Mayhew
Illustrated by Jackie Morris
Hardcover, 32 Pages
Published: September 2005
Estimated price: $16.95 USD
I am enraptured by the charm of the illustrations in Can You See a Little Bear? by James Mayfew. I know it’s easy to steal the show as an illustrator in books designed for very young children, but honestly, I could stare at these illustrations for hours just appreciating the colors and the fun details. The fantastical illustrations depict a carnivalesque/gypsy-like animal procession accompanied by minstrels and dancers. I know if I were still a child, I would have loved the thought of being able to ride a lion, or a polar bear, or even a dolphin! Inviting interaction, the reader is asked to find the cute polar bear baby on each page. My only concern is that younger children might be overwhelmed by the busyness of the artwork and therefore not be able to truly appreciate the fun. The text is made of simple rhyme, using basic adjectives to describe the colourful and exotic animals. Although the story doesn’t have a real purpose or a profound moral, it’s still a delightful book. After all, who goes to the carnival for morals? It’s purely a time for fun and whimsy!