One bear’s quest for a quiet place to hibernate is thwarted by lots of noisy critters.
Armed with his tiny blue-and-white polka-dot blanket and a pillow, Grizzle Grump, though undoubtedly large and possessing claws and teeth, doesn’t exactly match the menace of the opening spreads. Granted, his “polite YAWN” does snap trees and send small animals flying, but he’s just looking for a place to rest his head. Young readers have a chance to get in on Grizzle Grump’s action, as, much like a dog lying down for a nap, he has a routine for settling in that involves lots of scratching, teetering, wobbling, and flopping, and the woodpeckers, beavers, and frogs give him plenty of reason to find new spots to sleep. And when he finally gets his message across to the other woodland animals and falls deeply asleep, his noises drive them away. Blecha’s Photoshop illustrations will remind more than one reader of Melanie Watts’ Scaredy Squirrel series; his characters have pop eyes and exaggerated facial expressions and body language. Strangely, a gray squirrel follows Grizzle Grump around, sometimes seeming a friend, other times appearing afraid of the big bear.
This is a good choice for read-alouds and great fun, especially for those readers who can appreciate a good nap. (Picture book. 4-8)