Four more minitales (Patrick: A Teddy Bear’s Picnic and Other Stories, 2011) take the irrepressible ursine from mealtime to bathtime to bedtime, with a side venture out into the yard to “help” daddy rake leaves.
In the opener, the round-eared, red-nosed tyke initially regards the peas on his plate as “little green balls of MUSHY POISON!” but after negotiations, he ultimately downs them with generous helpings of ketchup and jelly as his revolted (“Yuck!”) but indulgent mother looks on. Misadventures with a weeding fork, a water hose, bath toys and large quantities of bubble bath follow—capped at last with much protestation and foot dragging on the way to bed. Underscoring all this cozy domesticity, the anthropomorphic Patrick and his parents look like teddy bears with a certain amount of koala in their DNA. The stubby figures, pale colors and soft-edged lines on view in Hayes’ sequential scenes hark back to Lillian Hoban’s illustrations for her (then) husband Russell’s classic A Bargain for Frances (1970) and its sequels.
Another charmer from the reliable Hayes; newly independent readers won’t need any condiments to gobble it down. (Graphic easy reader. 4-6)