"It was bedtime and Joe started playing his Cuddly Bear game," begins Waddell's (Can't You Sleep, Little Bear?) latest take on comforting nighttime rituals. As Joe, accompanied by his mother, asks his father and two older siblings if they've seen his favorite toy, each suggests a possible adventure for Cuddly Bear. The ensuing spreads combine an image of an interactive game between Joe and a member of his family alongside panel vignettes of the bear's purported travels. For instance, for brother Paul's suggestion that Cuddly Bear is swinging at the "funfair," he swings Joe in the air. Finally, the youngster tells his mother to ask him Cuddly Bear's whereabouts; in Joe's rendition, Cuddly Bear is upstairs brushing his teeth and readying himself for bed. The cartoonish panels that convey the stuffed fellow's preparations are among Dale's (When the Teddy Bears Came) best. This imaginative take on the goodnight rounds could easily inspire a new family tradition. Ages 3-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-Every night at bedtime, Little Joe and his family play the "Cuddly Bear" game. When the child asks, "Have you seen Cuddly Bear?" each family member offers a different explanation of where the stuffed animal might be. Each imaginary scenario is nicely illustrated in colored pencil opposite the text, but the pictures of the child and his family are awkwardly drawn. The text consists of unremarkable dialogue, and the author's overuse of the word "said" becomes tedious. This mediocre title does not live up to the standards set by Waddell's "Little Bear" books (Candlewick). Jules Feiffer's I Lost My Bear (Morrow, 1998) and Jez Alborough's Where's My Teddy? (Candlewick, 1992) do a much better job with the "lost bear" theme.-Melinda Schroeter, North Tonawanda Public Library, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.