THE BEAR NOBODY WANTED by Allan Ahlberg

THE BEAR NOBODY WANTED

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Made on an assembly line, the bear fails inspection and lands in the reject bin--a calamity that, ironically, is more difficult for him to endure since it's a result of his supercilious expression: a mouth stitch gone awry and a misplaced eye affect his character as much as they do his visage. As a catalogue of the mistreatment of his species, what follows rivals Oliver Twist or Black Beauty. Liberated by a cleaning woman who takes him to her rambunctious children, the bear is snubbed by the other toys and alternately neglected and abused (in pungently realistic detail, but at least being a toy spares him physical pain); hauled by a rag-and-bone man to a paper factory, which he escapes when an executive uses him as a shoe buffer; mauled by a dog; treated with consideration, for the first time, at a toy hospital where his new eye gives him a kindlier mien; given to a mechanical-minded tot who first ignores him and then leaves him behind when evacuated during WW II; bombed; and, at last, rescued by a nice boy who mends him again and gives him to his loving little sister. Ahlberg confides all this in the informal manner of a parent who happens to be a gifted storyteller, leavening whimsy with sturdy doses of common sense and the sometimes grim reality with delightful humor. Meanwhile, the bear has become wiser as well as humbler, and fully deserves his long-awaited happiness. Janet Ahlberg's delicately precise drawings, tucked here and there in the text, add a fine sense of place and an amusing visual slant. Perfect for sharing aloud. (Fiction. 7-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-670-83982-5
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1993




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