About the Author:
DAVID McPHAIL has written and illustrated more than fifty books for children, including Mole Music, a New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year and Sisters, as well as Big Brown Bear's Up and Down Day and Big Brown Bear Goes to Town, the companions to this book. He lives in Rye, New Hampshire.
From School Library Journal:
PreSchool-Grade 2—McPhail's illustrations are as sweet and whimsical as ever in this endearing story of friendship. During a picnic on the riverbank, Rat informs Bear that it's a special day; Rat has remembered Bear's birthday even though Bear has not. Rat even has a surprise present for his pal, something that "has four letters and begins with a B." Just then, a boat floats down the river, and Bear jumps aboard, assuming that it is his gift. Rat joins him, explaining that the boat is not for Bear, and they row upstream, looking for its owner. After a brief adventure, they return to the picnic basket, and Rat gives Bear his gift, a ball that he happily balances on his nose. This picture book is divided into four brief chapters. The story reads aloud smoothly and the vocabulary is appropriate for beginning readers with some experience. The pen-and-ink and watercolor paintings are saturated with warm summer hues and support the quiet text with humor and élan. The affection shared by the two friends is conveyed through both the narrative and the artwork.—June Wolfe, Bushnell-Sage Library, Sheffield, MA
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