When the family hires the man in the big, brown bear suit to entertain at Billy's birthday party, many surprises follow.
He wears a little purple hat and is greeted with cheers by the party guests. After voraciously consuming the proffered tea and biscuits, he lets out a surprising "BURP!" (Both Mom and Dad notice his bad manners.) The children chase him through the door, and he slips on a skateboard, spinning and whirling before crashing into a lamp. The kids love it, but the parents are rather horrified, even more so when he eats a bunch of flowers and glugs down all the water in the jug. The children want to try on his suit, but they can't seem to get it off...or even find a zipper. The Entertainer finds the birthday spread and eats it all, triggering a big sprawling snooze right there on the table. (Luckily, Mom had put the cake in the fridge.) Frazzled Mom and Dad are exhausted by the end of the party, but Billy wants to have him back next year. The doorbell rings; who should be standing in the doorway but a real man in a bear suit. Dodd's illustrations are colorful, and her story rhymes briskly, with droll, two-couplet etiquette tips tucked into page corners. Children, of course, will have tumbled to the Entertainer’s real identity long before the characters do.
A pleasant party bonbon. (Picture book. 3-6)