A sequel to the traditional fairy tale finds a bear lost in a big city.
Overwhelmed by the noise and lights, the bear ducks into Snooty Towers apartments to escape and get some much-needed rest. Some porridge would hit the spot. But one bowl is too soggy (fishbowl water—with fish!), one too crunchy (cat food) and the last is dry but doable (buttered toast). The mishaps continue in his search for a chair and a bed (a cactus and bath tub are involved, and the cat continues to be abused). The return of the penthouse-dwelling family wakes him, and he listens to their complaints as they follow his trail through the apartment to the little person’s bed where he is resting. The mommy person and the bear recognize each other and catch up over porridge before the now-grown Baby Bear finds his way back to the woods. Hodgkinson’s mixed-media artwork is the real star. The retro illustrations are done in bold blues, lime greens and pinks and are full of patterns and wonderfully scratchy and marbled textures. The blond family’s clothing, hairdos and attitudes neatly match their penthouse home, and the text plays into the artwork; “bright lights” is surrounded by lines depicting shine, while “wobbly” is written in a suitably shaky style.
Cute, but readers may wonder how a bear who grew up in the cottage that Goldilocks visited could have not a “crumb-of-a-clue” about porridge, chairs and beds. (Fractured fairy tale. 3-8)