Can the clever rabbit stop the hungry bear from eating him?
The titular Grizzly Bear with the Frizzly Hair has eaten almost everything in the forest but is still ravenous. And he's very bad-tempered about it, to boot. An "itzy-bitzy" rabbit makes the mistake of asking the bear what he's going to do. Lickety-split, the bear swoops the rabbit up in his giant paw and prepares to swallow him whole. Fast-talking rabbit tries distraction, self-deprecation and just plain pleading to get the bear to change his mind. Each buys him a little time, but he finally gets the bear's attention when he claims that there are much bigger things to eat down at the river. Bear, keeping a tight hold on rabbit, decides to check it out. When he looks in the water, he does see a creature a lot bigger and more appetizing than the scrawny rabbit. Before long, he's picked a fight with his own reflection and, in the heat of the moment, lets the rabbit go. Anyone who has read about the narrow escapes of Brer Rabbit can guess what happens next. Taylor's prose has some nice flourishes that read aloud well. Shaw's illustrations in pen and ink and scanned textures have some fun compositions, but the pictures of the rabbit actually in the bear's mouth might take some aback.
Ultimately, amiable but undistinguished. (Picture book. 3-5)