Else Holmelund Minarik's classic "Little Bear" books first appeared in 1957 (along with illustrations by the inimitable Maurice Sendak), and they remain in print today because they are pretty much perfect in every way. Collected in this volume are three separate books: "Little Bear," "Little Bear's Friend," and "Little Bear's Visit."
My children are eight and five, but they still enjoy sitting down occasionally and revisiting Little Bear. Throughout the books, Little Bear's mother is presented as the all-knowing, all-loving, kindly parent figure (you can imagine how much any parent secretly enjoys that!). The illustrations perfectly complement the calm, simple tone taken by Minarik in her tales. They present Little Bear as the typical kid: by turns curious, goofy, sad, frustrated, content, sleepy, joyful. We see the illogic involved in so many of the rites of passage of childhood without ever feeling that Little Bear is being made fun of. No, this is a protected, dear, secure universe concocted magically by Minarik and Sendak, and it's a pleasure to visit it every time you open the book.