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Bare Bear

Bare Bear

by Miriam Moss, Mary McQuillan (Illustrator)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Told in verse with plenty of satisfying repetition, Moss's (Snow Bear) tale follows Busby the bear cub as he searches for his lost shirt, shorts and socks: "One night as he slept/ a stormy wind blew,/ snatched his clothes off the line.../ and away they all flew...." Although the text occasionally strays into clay-footedness, Moss successfully recombines traditional storybook elements. Busby encounters a succession of fairytale friends; he discovers his shirt, for instance, lining the basket of "a hare in a red riding hood," a mouse uses Busby's yellow sock to polish a tick-tocking clock. A refrain ("They searched high and low./ They looked everywhere./ They walked in a circle/ and then in a square....") and type that meanders across the pages add to the tale's charm. Even adults will like the fee-fi-fo-fumming ogre (who tucks the bear's bright shorts into his cap)-"You think that I'll eat you/ 'cause I'm big and I'm strong,/ but vegetarians believe/ meat eating is wrong!" McQuillan (Cluck O' Clock) applies her colors over a surface covered with heavy strokes of white paint like antique cupboard doors. Skies of dreamy blue-fading-to-white add richness to the folkstyle renderings of animals and the ogre, who relaxes after his adventure with one of Busby's tiny books and a tiny (to him) mug of tea, alongside the no longer bare bear. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Busby Bear wakes up one morning to find that his clothing has blown off the clothesline and so discovers he is a bare bear. As he journeys out to find his clothes, he befriends familiar characters to help him get dressed. A hare dressed in a red riding hood has mistaken Busby's checkered red shirt for a tablecloth and used it in her picnic basket, while a mouse in a grandfather clock uses Busby's sock to polish the clock. As the characters move along finding Busby's clothes, they encounter a humongous ogre who gathers them up in his massive fist. While the outcome appears grim for the captive characters, they learn that the ogre is a vegetarian and is willing to help them with their search. The rhyming, rhythmic text carries the reader through Busby's search to find his belongings. The textured brush strokes of the illustrations provide an airy feeling of movement, along with the different sizes of fonts and placement of the text. Overall, it is a fun tale that teaches the concepts of trusting and helping others in need. 2005, Holiday House, Ages 3 up.
—Melissa A. Caudill
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-A clever premise is marred by too-strict adherence to rhyming structure in this otherwise fun picture book. Busby Bear wakes up one morning to find that his clothes have been blown off the line in the night, and he embarks on a quest to retrieve them. Along the way he meets a cast of twisted fairy-tale characters: a hare in a red riding hood, a mouse that lives in a clock, and a vegetarian ogre. His new friends give him back the clothes that they have mistakenly put to other uses. McQuillan's scratchy, textured illustrations sparkle, and their slightly off-kilter feel matches the wackiness of the characters, but the missteps in the text (including, confusingly for young children, referring to Busby's shirt as "underwear" at one point) bring the tale down.-Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Maryland School for the Deaf, Columbia Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
It's best to have a change of clothes, as evidenced by this bear whose line-drying garments are blown away, leaving him . . . bare. In pursuit of his clothes, Busby encounters a hare in a "red riding hood" who's using his T-shirt (called "underwear" here) to cover her basket: "Hare held up the cloth. / "Yes, I see you're undressed! / You are short of clothes. / Let me help find the rest." Things grow more madcap still when hare and bear meet a mouse polishing his clock with the bear's sock, and he too echoes the aforementioned refrain. Enter warty ogre. He frightens all three until he tells them he's a vegetarian, returns the bear's shorts (he had them on his head) and joins the hunt for the final errant sock. Surprise! They end up back at the bear's lair (where his last sock is), and Busby finally gets to deliver his punch line: "I'm not a bare bear!" McQuillan's textured paintings are friendly and fun, but even they can't rescue the bland, forced rhymes and downright silly story. (Picture book. 3-6)

Product Details

Holiday House, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
9.96(w) x 9.92(h) x 0.43(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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