Bear Wants to Know by Donna Gibbs and illustrated by Janet Trotta (CREMORNE1.COM) PB RRP $14.99
Reviewed by Dianne Bates
This picture book, for 2 to 5 year olds, tells the simple story of curious Harriet and her Bear who asks lots of questions. Harriet invents a game to play with her family so she and Bear can find answers together. The text and illustrations work happily together, so when Harriet says, ‘Bear wants to know what’s far away, Dad,’ her father takes the three of them into the night sky. In a double-page spread Harriet and Bear are in space-suits floating among stars while Dad watches from a rocket ship.
Most of the pages use lots of white space such as when Harriet by Gran to see something that’s tiny and she and Bear are wheeled in a barrow to see some ladybirds. Harriet also investigates concepts such as ‘deep’, ‘huge’ and ‘tall’ with loving relatives showing her. However, when Harriet changes the rules, she finds is the one with an important question to answer.
Small children will enjoy reading and re-reading this book with their loved ones. The illustrations, in ink line and watercolour wash, are charming and the text’s print size is just right. Both author and illustrator are Australian. The book is available for $14.99 post free from donnagibbsbooks.com