Rabbit, Duck, and Big Bear

Rabbit, Duck, and Big Bear cover
Rabbit, Duck, and Big Bear by Nadine Brun-Cosme; illustrated by Olivier Tallec

By Nadine Brun-Cosme
Illustrated by Olivier Tallec
Random House Studio, 2023
36 pages

Ages 3-6

Rabbit, Duck, and Big Bear are forest friends who “do everything together,” relishing one another’s company. Their seasonal activities are full of delight, but never include venturing down one particular winding path in the woods; Duck and Big Bear always suggesting reasons to avoid it. One winter day when Rabbit unexpectedly hurtles down the path on skates, she discovers a gorgeous fir tree. “All Rabbit can think is, If only my friends were here to see this.” She’s eager to share it with Duck and Big Bear, only to learn that they’ve seen the tree. In fact, they each regularly go down the winding path on their own to spend some peaceful time alone in the serene spot. Confused (“But we do everything together”), Rabbit takes a moment to breathe in, and out. “She feels the magic of the great fir. It’s almost like her friends aren’t even there.” Rabbit, Duck, and Big Bear are forest friends who do almost everything together. And that’s perfectly ok. A story with slowly building tension regarding what is down the path has a quietly joyful resolution that affirms the value of both friendship and solitude, and celebrates the grounding power of nature. Expressive pencil-and-acrylic Illustrations full of humor and a sense of joie de vivre also capture the beauty of the natural world. ©2023 Cooperative Children’s Book Center