In this first entry of Hayes's (Bear By Himself) Adventures of Patrick Brown series, a bear cub gets in touch with his inner dragon and triumphs over a bully. The diminutive hero, Patrick, starts out on his maiden solo excursion to Ollie Arwood's bakery, continuing his playacting as a dragon ("He roared at a grasshopper..../ He roared at the sky./ He roared at some Ants..../ ...and a gold butterfly"). But just around the fence, Big Bear lurks and the fellow loses his bravura. Patrick's friends help him elude the bully, but when the cub finds himself cowering in a flowerpot, he remembers his mother's parting advice and stands up to his nemesis. Hayes packs a crazy quilt of cheery visual elements into his pages with vignettes, full-spread paintings, vignettes-within-spreads, playful typography, callout boxes and word balloons. The narrative's unhurried flow can be comforting, but the occasionally cloying characterizations drag down the pacing some readers may lose interest before Big Bear gets his comeuppance. But Patrick's personality shines through in the appealing sturdiness of his body language and the comically determined set of his furry eyebrows, it's clear he's a leading man with staying power. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
At some point there is one in every child's life—a bully. It's not easy being a little bear when there is a bigger bear who is bent on bullying you. Patrick Brown is small but his mom sends him to buy cookies all by himself. Along the way he meets Big Bear, a bully determined to steal Patrick's money and eat his cookies. In a sequence reminiscent of Peter Rabbit's encounter in Mr. MacGregor's garden, Patrick squeezes through a neighbor's fence and ends up hiding in a flower pot. Finally, he remembers a skill he practiced at home, gives Big Bear the scare of his life, and confronts his foe face to face. The finale will be satisfying for the young child, reassuring him that he can successfully rely on his own resources to solve problems. The picture book's illustrations are colorful and lively. Chock full of detail, they will engage the reader's eye and encourage him to follow the action to its comforting conclusion. This picture book is the first in the new "The Adventures of Patrick Brown" series. 2001, Hyperion Books for Children, $15.99. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer:Stephanie Farrow
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-When Patrick meets a bully on the way to the store, he pretends to be a dragon to deal with the situation. Readers may delight in the fact that the little bear has returned in another escapade. However, this time his appearance is outlined in a fine black pen-and-ink line that gives him a rougher edge (and not necessarily preferable) than his former self in Patrick Eats His Dinner (Knopf, 1985; o.p.). Nonetheless, the protagonist retains his expressive eyes and delightful grimaces. He will bring smiles to readers' faces when he roars to scare the birds or rejoices when he gets a special cookie. This tale may not solve a bully problem at school but may give the audience newly found courage to face another day. Myriad action-packed details on each page move the story along to the conclusion.-Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Geoffrey Hayes's many popular books for children include the My First I Can Read Book Thump and Plunk, Bear by Himself, The Patrick Bear Books, and many beginning reader adventure; about Uncle Tooth and Otto. He lives in San Francisco, California.