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MOM, THERE'S A BEAR AT THE DOOR by Sabine Lipan Kirkus Star


by Sabine Lipan ; illustrated by Manuela Olten

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-8028-5460-5
Publisher: Eerdmans

A bear, a mother, and her child have lively two-way conversations.

Endpapers set a humorous tone with their depiction of bear tracks on an old-fashioned tiled floor. Readers then meet a big bear trying to hide behind a tree. They are invited to share in his escapade as he is next seen in an apartment house. Quiet, he signals, and the deadpan fun continues. A child, dialogue in black, announces that “there’s a bear at the door!” Mom answers, her dialogue in red, “But we live on the eleventh floor!” “That’s why he’s there,” says the child. (Duh.) The verbal mayhem continues as logic is stretched. The bear takes the bus and yes, he has a ticket, because how else could he board the bus? He is on their floor because he wants to see the sea. He can’t do that in the forest where he lives, which is why he has to look out their window. His objective met, he enjoys Black Forest cake, and then the bear and the child, properly helmeted, bus and bicycle back to the forest to enjoy a cozy nap. Lipan’s text, translated from German, recalls the rhythmic cadences of Remy Charlip’s classic Fortunately. Olten’s colorful, full-bleed artwork with reds and greens predominating imbues the characters with barrelfuls of personality.

Verbal and visual humor abound.

(Picture book. 4-7)