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The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear
The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear
The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear
by Don and Audrey Wood
Illustration by Don Wood

Little Mouse worries that the big, hungry bear will take his freshly picked, ripe, red strawberry for himself.

Age: 2 Year-olds | Title: The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear  |  Author: Don and Audrey Wood  |  Publisher: Child's Play International

Little Mouse worries that the big, hungry bear will take his freshly picked, ripe, red strawberry for himself.

This book offers a unique second-person narrative, filled with humor, drama, suspense, and even a lesson. The Little Mouse is startled on the first page when the narrator addresses him directly, but quickly recovers and proudly displays the large red strawberry he intends to pick. The pictures are easy to spend time looking at, as they are beautifully painted, detailed, colorful, and expressive. The Little Mouse is absolutely adorable, but his facial expressions clearly show his utter fear that the Big Hungry Bear is about to find and steal his strawberry at any moment. In one picture, the Little Mouse is sweating profusely as he tries to bury his strawberry to hide it, and readers may not know whether to think, 'awwwww, how cute', or feel sorry for him.

The narrator's bantering is generally humorous; he is clearly teasing the mouse, but the mouse takes it quite literally and goes through great efforts to protect his strawberry. Your little one may giggle when the pictures shows the Little Mouse frantically shaking the vine to get the strawberry down, or when The Little Mouse tries to disguise himself and the strawberry by putting glasses and a false nose and mustache on them both. In the end, it becomes clear to readers that the narrator has his own objective when he tells the Little Mouse there is only one way to save the strawberry from the Big Hungry Bear, "Cut it in two. Share half with me. And we'll both eat it all up." You can discuss a few different lessons based on this with your child; don't be selfish and save something only for yourself, or don't trust strange omnipresent narrators who suddenly start speaking to you.

My two-year-old friend, Kyle, loved the pictures in this book. He smiled at my voice inflections while reading, as I tried to really emphasis how much the narrator was teasing. He recognized and labeled the strawberry each time we saw it. So, the next time we had strawberries, I told Kyle to hurry up and eat it so the Big Hungry Bear wouldn't get it. At first, he looked a little worried, but when I reminded him of the story, he giggled.

--Audra

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