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THE BOY, THE BEAR, THE BARON, THE BARD by Gregory Rogers Kirkus Star


by Gregory Rogers & illustrated by Gregory Rogers

Age Range: 6 - 12

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 1-59643-009-5
Publisher: Roaring Brook

When a little boy goes into an abandoned theater to retrieve a lost soccer ball, he sets himself up for a trip through time to the 16th century, emerging on the stage of the Globe in the middle of a performance. Pursued through London by an enraged Shakespeare, he frees and then befriends both a caged bear and an imprisoned baron before managing to get back home. Rogers tells his story without words, employing both sequential panels and full-bleed double-page spreads to move the action along and to give a vivid sense of time and place. The seamier aspects of the 16th century come to life, quick ink-and-watercolor cartoons focusing on gap-toothed and blemished groundlings and panning over head-festooned pikes on London Bridge. The story itself is a rollicking chase, punctuated by a cozy nap for boy and bear and a merry dance later on when all three fugitives hop onto Queen Elizabeth’s barge to escape the Bard. Most children will need some adult guidance to understand everything that’s going on, but the good-humored action and touching friendships need no explanation. One-of-a-kind fun. (Picture book. 6-12)