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BEAR WITH ME by Max Kornell

BEAR WITH ME

By Max Kornell (Author) , Max Kornell (Illustrator)

Age Range: 2 - 8

Pub Date: May 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-399-25257-0
Publisher: Putnam

Owen’s world is perfect until his parents decide to add a bear to their family. “It started off just right. I had mom and a dad and my own set of blocks. I had everything I needed.”  His parents bring home a huge, brown bear named Gary who invades Owen’s perfect life and territory. Gary takes up Owen’s parents’ time, plays with his toys, ruins his markers and swing and keeps him up all night with his overwhelming snoring. It takes a while for Owen to adjust to this enormous change, but like children everywhere with a new sibling or other addition to the family, he learns to appreciate and even love the interloper. The droll illustrations, in which Owen and Gary appear to have been cut out and glued into a suburban subdivision, put the new brothers at the center of the action. Despite the cartoon style, emotions are clear. Owen’s eyes, near tears, zero in on Gary’s fearful expression at their first meeting; the two smile at each other while sharing blocks. Gentle, wordless pages explore their developing friendship and invite readers to provide the narration. The only misstep is the use of colored text rather than quotation marks to show speech, which could be an unnecessary impediment for new readers. Nevertheless, a sweet and refreshing spin on the old new-sibling plot. (Picture book. 2-8)