A curious bear embarks on a fast-moving adventure when he steps onto a log leaning over a river. Along the way he meets a diverse cast of friends, all with unique personalities. A lonely frog, a couple of anxious turtles, and a determined beaver are a few of the adventurers we meet in this cumulative story. What happens when their log takes them to the precipice of a high waterfall and over the edge is a lesson about the fun in store when you embrace community and realize that we’re all on this wild ride together.

The story, illustrated by Le Uyen Pham, begins on the endpapers where we can see bear peeking out of his den. The swirling shades of blue in the river make it look like the water is actually moving. As each animal friend joins the adventure, the illustrations get brighter and more brilliant, implying that connection with others makes life more vibrant. The artist’s use of different perspectives, along with detailed expressions on the character’s faces, add drama and humor to the story. Don’t miss the back endpapers where you can map the animals’ journey. The story in this Caldecott honor book is best for preschool through primary grades, although all ages will enjoy the beautiful artwork.

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