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THE BEAR'S SONG by Benjamin Chaud Kirkus Star

THE BEAR'S SONG

By Benjamin Chaud (Author) , Benjamin Chaud (Illustrator)

Age Range: 2 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 17th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4521-1424-8
Publisher: Chronicle

Hibernation is for grown-ups—Little Bear has adventure on his mind.

In mad pursuit of a bee, Little Bear races through the forest, farther and farther away from his snoozing, cave-bound father: “Little Bear is too caught up in honey thoughts to hear winter’s whisper. A busy sort of buzzing beckons him instead.” Eagle-eyed readers can track the bear and bee all the way to Paris from the French countryside, devouring the hundreds of fanciful details that populate each gorgeous, oversized, double-page spread. When Papa Bear wakes up and sees his errant cub is missing, he too dashes off, eventually ending up at the Opéra Garnier and—oo la la!—even finding his voice onstage: “Grooooaaaarrrr!” Minidramas unfold by the square inch on delicious curry-, paprika- and olive-colored pages—cloaked and shifty-eyed lurkers, a mysterious lady with a poodle, a monkey-hatted child. Even in the Opéra’s exquisitely rendered architectural flourishes lurk images of forest beasts, and the honeycomb endpapers aptly flank the busy visual hive within. The playful, poetic text—brilliantly translated from the original French—hums along as nature and culture stylishly collide: “Now where could that bee and that Little Bear be?”

This extraordinary picture book, first published in France as Une chanson d’ours (2011), is as happy a surprise as finding a honey-filled hive at the end of a fur-raising journey. (Picture book. 2-8)