Kirkus Reviews QR Code
ORANGE PEAR APPLE BEAR by Emily Gravett Kirkus Star


by Emily Gravett illustrated by & Emily Gravett

Age Range: 1 - 4

Pub Date: May 22nd, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-4169-3999-3
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Loose line-and-watercolor illustrations ring the changes on all the possible combinations of the four title words in this deliciously playful romp. A very large, very genial bear first contemplates, then plays with the fruit, first turning orange, then morphing into an apple and a pear (in illustrations that emphasize his delightfully rounded posterior). The fruits themselves appear alone, in stacks and in simple compositions that recall Cezanne’s still lifes. It’s a masterpiece of superbly controlled pacing, each object and its corresponding word appearing initially alone on the page, then combining in twos, then all rushing together as the bear’s play intensifies, then slowing again as he eats the fruits, one by one, in a glorious display of happy gluttony. The text employs only the four words of the title (with one notable, concluding exception), rearranging themselves to produce the felicitously surprising pictorial combinations. The creamy background and gray typeface complement the light lines and bright colors of the fruits, and the bear is a striking example of how, in this case at least, less is definitely more. (Picture book. 1-4)