This is a darling book. My younger sisters had this when they were little, and I remember my teenage self thinking it was such a lovely little book.
Big Bear is trying to get Little Bear asleep. He tucks him into bed and goes to read his book. Just a few chapters before the good part, Little Bear hollers. He is afraid of the dark and needs some reassurance in the form of a little lamp. This keeps happening, as they move up sizes of lanterns.
Eventually, with the very biggest lantern of all, Little Bear still says he is "scared of the dark." (Note the somersaults.) Big Bear asks him what dark he is afraid of, since the big lantern lights up their cave like noonday. Little Bear points outside.
So Big Bear takes Little Bear out to see the dark and the very biggest night time lantern of all in the form of a full moon.
I remember thinking this picture was pretty much perfection. And I still love it. Their is a quietness in snowy woods full of moonshine that this picture conveys so perfectly. I love the bears standing there together, just watching the moon. The security Little Bear has in Big Bear making even the biggest dark suddenly friendly and full of wonder.
After moongazing for awhile. the bears go back inside. Big Bear tucks Little Bear in the crook of his arm instead of making him go back to bed. Little Bear falls asleep in a cocoon of safety and Big Bear gets to read his book right through the good part to the end.
I love this book.