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My Bear Griz
     

My Bear Griz

by Suzanne McGinness (Illustrator)
 

Billy has a bear called Griz. A Grizzly Bear. And the two friends have all kinds of wonderful adventures together. They go exploring, play hide and seek, eat peanut butter and honey sandwiches, share secrets and tell jokes. Griz is the best friend a boy could possibly have - whether he's a Grizzly Bear or a teddy bear... This is a stunning debut picture book about

Overview

Billy has a bear called Griz. A Grizzly Bear. And the two friends have all kinds of wonderful adventures together. They go exploring, play hide and seek, eat peanut butter and honey sandwiches, share secrets and tell jokes. Griz is the best friend a boy could possibly have - whether he's a Grizzly Bear or a teddy bear... This is a stunning debut picture book about a boy and his bear, in which the short text and tactile, large scale paintings bring Griz and Billy magically to life.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Newcomer McGinniss spins a fantasy about a boy’s ideal pet: a docile and obliging grizzly bear. McGinniss draws Griz in all his furry, naturalistic majesty, his warm coat a mass of scratchy brown ink lines, his heavy head as big as his owner Billy’s whole body. Griz dominates most of the spreads, his bulk echoed in the book’s extra-large type. His body warms Billy as they sleep together (“Griz is great for taking naps”), and his massive claws grasp a slender tree trunk that does nothing to disguise him in a game of hide-and-seek. “I usually win,” Billy says. Billy confides in Griz, too (“I am scared of the dark,” reads wobbly childlike letters scribbled on the page between Billy and Griz. “Sometimes I pick my nose”). Despite his small size, it’s Billy who’s in charge, an impression bolstered by his newspaper crown. The discovery on the last page that Griz is really Billy’s regulation-size teddy bear isn’t a big surprise, but this visually playful ode to the strength of a child’s imagination establishes McGinniss as a talent worth watching. Ages 2–6. (Nov.)
From the Publisher

Billy and Griz share everything and this is a lovely story of friendship - with a totally unexpected twist at the end.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—There is no actual story line here; instead, the book is a catalogue of experiences a boy shares with an enormous grizzly bear. Billy and Griz enjoy peanut butter and honey sandwiches, play hide-and-seek, look at the stars together, etc. At the end it is revealed that Griz is actually a teddy bear. While there are many stories about children becoming attached to stuffed toys, there is something a little uncomfortable about Billy's isolation here, as he says "Griz is my best friend" and there is no interaction with anyone else. The illustrations, done in biro (ballpoint pen) and watercolor, are heavily textured, and in the case of the bear even tactile, but there is an oddly vacant expression in both the boy's and the bear's eyes. Martha Alexander's "Blackboard Bear" stories (Candlewick) deal with a similar case of imagination providing a companion, but there is a wider range of interaction with the actual world and other people.—Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
A bear of imposing presence provides safety and joy in this visually distinctive debut. "I love bears," opens narrator Billy, but there's really only the one: Griz. Griz is striking, drawn in densely hatched and layered pen lines of browns and blacks, too big to fit on the page yet dominating the space. Griz has a wildness about him, an unrestrained vibe, but he never feels dangerous. Billy trusts Griz implicitly as they explore, share secrets and eat peanut-butter–and-honey sandwiches. Backgrounds are abstract, mellow watercolor, balancing the energetic lines of Griz's fur. Billy's enthusiastic, just-learning-to-write printing runs over the pages, crowing "Griz loves honey!" and "Grrr! Roar!" One aspect of Griz isn't revealed until the final page, though discerning readers may note hints of make-believe in the fancifully colored forest trees (site of hide and seek) and the fluid size ratio of boy to bear. When they nap together, Billy's curled-up body is smaller than Griz's muzzle; when they stargaze, Griz is tremendous in the inky night sky, his size protecting Billy--who's dwarfed by even the width of Griz's foreleg--from feeling lost in the universe. In contrast, on a yellow spread about joke-telling, Griz rolls over in gales of laughter, fitting completely onto the page, Billy's height (including whimsical newsprint crown) now comparable to Griz's head. A winner for read-alouds, whether in groups or one-on-one. (Picture book. 2-5)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781847801135
Publisher:
Frances Lincoln Children's Books
Publication date:
08/23/2011
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
1,358,574
Product dimensions:
12.00(w) x 10.30(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
2 - 6 Years

Meet the Author

Suzanne McGinness completed an MA at Cambridge School of Art. She lives in Shaker Heights, Ohio, USA.

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