DON'T FEED THE BEAR by Kathleen  Doherty


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In this children’s picture book, a park ranger and a bear each warn tourists not to feed the other.

Portly, brown Bear lives in a park and loves campers’ leftovers. So when he discovers the park ranger installing a sign that reads “DON’T FEED THE BEAR,” he’s displeased and puts up his own: “DON’T FEED THE RANGER.” As a result, campers with pie, ice cream, and soda feed neither one. Bear craftily disguises himself in a cap and T-shirt that claim that he’s “not a bear.” But it doesn’t work, leading to a “war with words” as bear and ranger repeatedly vandalize each other’s signs with spray paint, markers, and brushes. They finally come to an understanding, however, and revise the signs to encourage visitors to feed them both. Together, they enjoy a delicious picnic of campers’ “goodies.” In her debut, Doherty tells an amusing story with good sound effects (“SMACKITY! SMACK! WHOMP!”) and vivid, compressed sentences perfect for reading aloud. Children will certainly appreciate the characters’ love of treats. Wass’ (Monster Knows Shapes, 2014, etc.) stylish, retro-feeling illustrations hilariously capture action and character, such as Bear’s angry yet lovable stomping. However, kids should know that feeding wild animals is bad for them and can result in fines or jail sentences.

Delightfully funny, with much verve and style—but please don’t feed the bears.

Pub Date: April 10th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-4549-1979-7
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Sterling Children's Books
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2019


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