April 26, 2016
Emily Gravett has done it again! She has written a DELIGHTFUL book and an easy hand sell (and my bookselling persona thanks her for that).
Bear & Hare: Where's Bear? (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2016) http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781481456159 is an engaging and hilarious book for ages 2-6 (and 53)
Bear and Hare are back and in this book they're playing Hide and Seek. Bear hides first and Hare gleefully counts to ten, with brightly colored (wait, coloured, since Gravett is British) numerals dancing across the page.
Bear is easily found hiding behind a thin floor lamp, a stack of books (this would DEFINITELY have worked in my house, I could hide an ELEPHANT and still have books left over) and an aquarium.
Bear goes looking for Hare next and cannot find him anywhere, but then Bear disappears! Hare looks frantically for him to no avail. What will happen?!?!?!?
What makes the book more fun are all the little visual jokes and nods to literature that Gravett puts in. The end papers (always look at picture books' end papers, they are often delightful and sometimes part of the story) show Hare in 'search mode' in the front and Bear searching on the back end papers.
One of the books in the stack of books is Gravett's own Monkey and Me and the artwork on the wall is from Bear and Hare: Snow! The headboard on the bed has Hare jumping over the moon and feels a bit Goodnight Moon-ish. My favorite (given the maturity of my sense of humor) is the chamber pot under the bed with an illustration of bear sitting on a chamber pot in the woods (FINALLY answering that age old question) and holding a roll of toilet paper. *
There are also numerous images of goldfish, in the aquarium (duh), on the lampshade, on the spine of a book. I wonder if they're alluding to Gravett's next book.
Gravett's books are always delightful, she truly gets what is happening in the minds of children (or their animal stand ins) and portrays their emotions so well. Get this and put it on the shelf next to Again (and if you don't have Again! get it NOW! There are princess panties in it!)
*This reminded me Trina Schart Hyman's 'interesting' table leg illustration in King Stork