ARE YOU THERE, BEAR? by Ron Maris

ARE YOU THERE, BEAR?

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A flashlight hide-and-seek, in a child's room aglimmer with mysterious eyes, for a toy bear who isn't really hiding after all. Tantalizing, yes. The room, rendered in lush watercolors (the British mode of Michael Foreman), is packed with playthings that come to life as the flashlight illumines them--""That's not a bear. Come out, Donkey""--and join in the search. (But, to the jester who pops out of a box: ""That's not a bear. Go back, Jack."") Bear is found, finally, with his head in a picturebook (about a bear)--where upon all the toys assemble in front of him: ""tell us a story, bear."" That last bit is a mite goopy (in British toy-story fashion) and the room, lit up, is a symphony in candy-box colors. But the playful search for Bear, in the moving spot of the flashlight (which also lights up the text), puts the reader/listener actively in the picture, peering into the dark with the narrator--and fooled, too, by the silhouette of the donkey under the bed. The combination of nursery-tale patterning and visual participation can hardly help but please.

Pub Date: March 18th, 1985
Publisher: Greenwillow