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by Ian Whybrow & illustrated by David Melling

Age Range: 3 - 5

Pub Date: July 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-340-87561-5
Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books/Trafalgar

Bentley may well be one of the cutest little cubs ever drawn. His chocolate-hued fur looks like touchable velvet. But he’s all paws and a bit clumsy. Bentley can’t even go lightly with his favorite squishy caterpillar. After one last mauling, the caterpillar finally explodes into little bits. Bentley’s pals Squeaky, a mouse, and Bun, a rabbit, offer up advice and assistance. “Gently Bentley,” they caution as a toy car falls apart and again when Bentley becomes tangled in a skipping rope. At last he finds an outlet for his exuberance and a way to have fun with a toy that can withstand his rough and tumble ways. Some might be warned that when things don’t go his way, “Blow it!” is Bentley’s oft repeated childish expletive. Melling’s lively illustrations are bursting with color and action. This funny read is a good little lesson about appropriate behavior with certain objects as well as the nice reminder that innovation is the key to rich and harmonious play. (Picture book. 3-5)