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BEAR IN THE AIR by Susan Meyers


by Susan Meyers & illustrated by Amy Bates

Age Range: 2 - 5

Pub Date: May 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8109-8398-4
Publisher: Abrams

To a “House That Jack Built” rhythm and style, a teddy bear has a great adventure when a baby drops it out of his carriage and it falls, hidden, beneath the wheels of a lemonade stand at the beach. After baby and mother leave, a dog finds the bear and plays with it for a bit before discarding it. Waves swallow up the bear, and eventually a bird snatches it out of the water, takes it for a ride in the sky and drops it in the yard of a woman who hangs the wet bear on her clothesline—where mom and baby spot it for a happy reunion. There is a familiarity here that is comforting, but that very predictability may make older preschoolers wish for an unexpected twist. Bates, however, creates a nice vintage feel with her expressive, traditional watercolors, framing key characters like portraits as they are introduced. Overall, the direct plot, retro styling and satisfying end may remind adult readers of the days when picture books were a quieter pleasure—like a glass of cold lemonade in the summer. (Picture book. 2-5)