Published by HMH Books for Young Readers
Summary: Bear and Hare, the main characters from the authors’ Tops and Bottoms return in this tale. Bear would rather sleep in his chair than work on his farm, and growls at Fox when he comes around to try to sell him a donkey egg. Fox convinces Bear that he needs a donkey for a companion, and that the egg (which bears an uncanny resemblance to a watermelon) will hatch one if Bear takes care of it. Bear is skeptical, but after paying Fox $20, he does his best to make sure the egg is warm and safe. Hare stops by periodically to see how things are going. Disaster seems to strike when the egg escapes and rolls to the bottom of a hill where it splits open to reveal…watermelon. When Bear sees the seeds, though, he gets an idea. He and Hare plant and care for a large watermelon patch, and when they ripen, Bear sells them to buy himself a donkey. Includes sidebars with interesting facts about seconds, minutes, hours, and days as the time Bear spends hatching the egg goes by. 48 pages; ages 4-8.
Pros: Kids will love this funny story and illustrations, and will applaud Bear for his cleverness that allows him to turn the “egg” into a real donkey.
Cons: Here’s hoping it doesn’t take another 24 years to produce book three of this series.