A bear has settled himself in a mouse’s chair, and nothing will move him.
The big polar bear is certainly not unaware that he has usurped the chair, but he seems to be feeling no guilt about it. The sweater-clad mouse speaks directly to readers, airing complaints, making outrageous threats, offering bribes, and throwing tantrums. It even acknowledges that the bear’s endangered status calls for some extra care, but the situation is untenable. All the while, the bear is silently self-absorbed. In desperation, the mouse leaves for parts unknown. When the bear finally ambles away, he heads home to his igloo only to find that mouse asleep in his bed. Now the tale has turned, and the bear at last speaks: one, perplexed line. The mouse’s one-sided diatribe appears in very large print with key words emphasized in red. Every second line ends in a rhyme with the contested “chair,” including “glare,” “lair,” “hair,” even “leisure wear,” and (of course) “underwear.” Collins’ pencil-and-digital illustrations are completely interwoven with the text, enlarging and enhancing the tale with over-the-top humor and expressive body language. The mouse jumps out of a box (in that underwear), offers a juicy pear, glares from atop a ladder, and more. The bear matches these goofy antics as he reads a newspaper, does an Elvis impression, takes a snooze, and checks his cellphone.
Silly, laugh-out-loud fun. (Picture book. 2-6)