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ROAWR!  by Barbara Joosse


by Barbara Joosse & illustrated by Jan Jutte

Age Range: 4 - 6

Pub Date: April 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-399-24777-4
Publisher: Philomel

“One dark and snarly night” Liam, whose father is away, attempts to fend off the bear he imagines is threatening his sleeping mother. After she falls “snore asleep,” he hears a “ROAWR!” Liam calls for his mom, but she continues snoring, so naturally he packs up a bag containing his shovel, sticks and string and double-cake and heads off on the lookout. As a forest grows around his room, Wild Things–style, Liam manages to trap the bear in a hole and feed it until it falls asleep. It seems Liam enjoys a good bear hunt, and this big grizzly bears a remarkable resemblance to Liam’s eyepatch-wearing teddy. As lively and quirky—and crackingly good as a read-aloud—as Liam’s adventure is, however, Joosse and Jutte do not navigate the boundary between reality and imagination as masterfully as Sendak did. The ink, watercolor and acrylic illustrations, boldly outlined in cartoon fashion, are full of humor but do not assist enough in visually delineating what’s real from what’s not. Liam’s unconscious is a distinctly more fearful place than Max’s, marking this as not for the easily frightened. (Picture book. 4-6)