B. Bear and Lolly are back in a tale about owning up to mistakes…and maybe about anger and vengeance too (B. Bear and Lolly: Off to School, 2014).
The “Goldilocks” best friends have a vexing new invention—the porridge their Porridge Perfecter turns out is never quite right. But before they can try again, “BAM!” The Gingerbread Man runs through and destroys the machine, not even stopping to say sorry or help clean up. B. Bear is upset and sad, and Lolly is angry: “Let’s go get him!” But though the two try, readers familiar with the Gingerbread Man’s story will know that he can’t be caught, and his taunting only makes Lolly angrier. “I just want to crumble that cookie!” she yells. Readers might run from Lolly’s expression, too. After a chase scene populated by characters from many fairy tales, the imperfect porridge provides the answer. The Gingerbread Man trembles before the triumphant friends but is immediately contrite, and with his help, not only is the invention fixed, but it actually makes porridge that is “just right.” Chou’s bright illustrations are full of nifty details, though the flatness of the digital artwork can sometimes make them difficult to pick out.
The mix of fairy tales is fun, but though things work out for the three friends in the end, Lolly may seem too vengeful for many readers, adult or child. (Picture book. 4-8)