*STARRED REVIEW from Booklist*

Bear and Hare, stars of the Caldecott Honor book Tops & Bottoms (1995) return in another humorous tale about gullibility. Bear, the Oxfords-wearing hero of the story, who would much rather nap in his white Adirondack chair than fix up his ramshackle farm, gets advice from a devious neighbor. Fox convinces Bear he needs a donkey to help spruce up the property and sells him a $20 "donkey egg," which looks a lot like a watermelon. All Bear has to do is keep the egg “warm, safe and happy” until it hatches. Hare takes a break from another race against tortoise, who can be seen trekking along in the background, to inform Bear that donkeys do not, in fact, come from eggs. Nevertheless, Bear takes his responsibility seriously, so he sits on the egg, reads to it, sings to it, and plays peek-a-boo with it while waiting for the big reveal. The text is mostly dialogue with short rhymes included here and there, and the mixed-media illustrations, packed with funny details, are a joy to explore.What Bear does when his egg finally ‘hatches” is classic, and leaves Fox scratching his head in wonder. Interspersed throughout are “Did You Know?” inserts that explain time increments from a second to a month and what occurs within each. Another winner from this sister team.— Maryann Owen

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Preliminary Sketch

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Final Sketch