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Little Brown Bear and the Bundle of Joy    by Jane Dyer order for
Little Brown Bear and the Bundle of Joy
by Jane Dyer
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2005 (2005)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Watching his parents sewing and painting, Little Brown Bear asks 'What's going on?' When he doesn't understand their answer ('We're getting ready for our little bundle of joy') he asks around, wondering 'Could a bundle of joy be a bundle of toys? Or even honey cakes?'

Every creature he approaches reveals their own 'little bundle of joy', and none of them impress Little Brown Bear. Owl reveals a screeching owlet and Horse a sleeping foal. Pig shows five messy, muddy ('not to mention stinky') piglets, and Frog points out swimming tadpoles. But Frog also explains that 'Babies aren't always noisy or boring or messy'. She leads Little Brown Bear to the park, where 'many babies had big brothers and sisters playing with them. It looked like fun.'

Little Brown Bear goes home to meet a new baby sister, and be reminded of what his family's 'bundle of joy' really is. Little Brown Bear and the Bundle of Joy is the perfect gift to give to a newborn's sibling(s). In warm, engaging watercolors, it underlines an elder child's importance to the family, while introducing the notion that babies can be fun too.

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