Kirkus Reviews QR Code
PLEASE DO FEED THE BEARS by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor


by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor & illustrated by Ana Lopez Escriva

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: June 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-689-82561-7
Publisher: Atheneum

A family outing to the beach nearly ends in calamity when the youngest member decides to bring along his treasured bears. As Percy’s family busily prepares for their trip, he discovers stuffed animals he cannot endure leaving behind. Percy’s family explains that if they take his toys, they will have to leave something behind. Naylor’s (Simply Alice, p. 496, etc.) tale gently exposes a child’s comically skewered pragmatism; after all, Percy reasons, what can possibly be more important than one’s favorite toys? Thus, while Percy collects his bears, he carefully disposes with what he deems the less important items for the trip. When his family discovers a quartet of bears neatly tucked into the cooler instead of food, it seems that everyone will have to go home early. However, Percy uses his unique brand of logic to solve this dilemma. Soon, four stuffed bears are perched next to the boardwalk with a sign reading “Please DO feed the bears,” eventually affording the family a bountiful lunch. Escrivá’s (How Can You Dance?, 2001, etc.) acrylic paintings adroitly tie into the tale, allowing readers in on the secret to Percy’s packing, building the anticipation for the story’s humorous climax. The density of the bold colors combined with sharply defined lines of the drawings produce vividly arresting illustrations. Naylor’s wry tale reveals to readers both the shenanigans and solutions that are the result of ingenious thinking. (Picture book. 4-8)