A roly-poly bear, suitcase in hand, knocks on the door of a young child’s brownstone.
The unnamed narrator informs the bear that bears don’t belong in houses. “ ‘Go home, bear.’ And that was that.” But of course it is not. The bear returns with his flamingo friend, so the child says, “Go home, bear. And take that flamingo with you.” Many readers may wonder who wouldn’t want to at least chat a minute or two with a friendly bear and a dazzling flamingo, but this narrator is a tough nut. Maybe there is some earlier animosity that readers are not privy to? The bear is persistent. It comes down the chimney, joins in an art session, and takes a bath with the protagonist. Finally, the narrator yells at the bear to go home. And the bear does. Suddenly the narrator is desperate. Where is the bear? A search commences. The bear returns. Taylor’s art is appealingly retro, making the most of the silliness of the premise. (The narrator is depicted with pale skin, short, brown hair, and wears T-shirts and shorts.) Aside from the silliness, however, little clicks in this story. Why should the bear come back after that rude treatment? What has triggered the narrator’s change of heart? Yes, new friendships are strange, but this one will need therapy right from the beginning.
An old tale that should have been left alone. (Picture book. 4-6)