Bear unwittingly upends the backyard animals’ perfect day in pursuit of its own in this playful tale.
A yellow sun emanates heat and cheer as Cat enjoys the daffodils. It’s a perfect day for the feline and for Dog, who loves his wading pool. In fact, all the animals in Bert’s care are having a perfect day. Close-ups reinforce their contentment, as they happily eat, rest, and play, while wider views offer a visual map of both backyard and story. Enter Bear into this idyllic scene, a hulking mass tromping across the page, blissfully ignorant of his disruption. Smith, with his signature humor, masterfully fills the spreads with Bear’s immense scale and endearing antics, capturing each comedic beat with text repetition and expressive illustrations. In the end, it’s Bear who has the best day, as the ursine obliviously naps in the sunny flower bed, cool from pool water, full of the others’ food—as they cautiously watch from the window. Smith’s mixed-media artwork masterfully explores texture and scale, and readers will equally enjoy the picture of the real bear plopped outside his studio examining a bird feeder, much like his protagonist, on the jacket flap.
Perfectly funny while offering a chance to discuss perspective. (Picture book. 3-8)