Kirkus Reviews QR Code
BEAR DESPAIR by Gaëtan  Dorémus


by Gaëtan Dorémus & illustrated by Gaëtan Dorémus

Age Range: 2 - 6

Pub Date: Sept. 11th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-59270-125-4
Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books

When Bear loses his beloved teddy bear, he will stop at nothing to get him back in this wordless romp.

When Wolf runs off with his beloved sleeping companion, Bear sets out in furious pursuit. Wolf flings Teddy away, and angry Bear swallows him whole. The scenario is repeated as Bear confronts Lion, who tosses Teddy off a cliff, and Eagle swoops down to claim him. Lion joins Wolf in Bear’s stomach. Bear, still in hot pursuit, climbs up to Eagle’s aerie. Eagle flies off, and Bear swallows two eggs. Still in dogged pursuit, he encounters Elephant. Same scenario. At long last, Octopus finally hands over Teddy. The enstomached animals and eggs escape, and Bear happily—and finally—goes back to sleep. In this wordless tale, the French illustrator uses a storyboard format of large and small encircled scenes on a white page to tell an energetic and emotional tale. Bear resembles the titular character from "I Know an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly" as his tummy grows larger and larger, comfortably fitting all, who are often seen in cutaway views sitting and chatting with one another. Colorful drawings with overlays of swirling lines sweep by at a fast pace as the action grows increasingly frantic, mirroring Bear’s growing anxiety. A lesson to be learned: don’t mess with the teddy.

An imaginative and well-designed chase. (Picture book. 2-6)