Patrick is a puddle-jumping teddy whose biggest challenge is avoiding nap time...until Big Bear shows up!
Publishers WeeklyThis emerging reader graphic novel by the Geisel Award–winning Hayes follows a young anthropomorphic bear named Patrick Brown and his gentle, laugh-filled adventures with his loving mother and father. In the first story, Patrick and his mother go on a picnic, and Patrick makes various discoveries regarding blowing up balloons and bugs, and sailing a toy boat. In the second story, Patrick confronts the Big Bear bully with wits rather than violence. These two tales are interspersed with one-pagers depicting such topics as Patrick's disdain for nap time. Very young readers will have no trouble following Hayes's gorgeous artwork, and the eager-to-please Patrick sets a good example. Readers will find the most humor in the expressions, as when the mama bear is less than thrilled with Patrick's decision to jump in puddles. Ages 5–7. (Apr.)
School Library JournalK-Gr 2—This graphic presentation has short sentences, repetition, minimal characters, and one to four panels per page. Colored-pencil and pen-and-ink cartoon illustrations provide a detailed look at the bears' world-from the mirrored reflection in their tiny cottage to tiny creatures along garden paths. Figures and objects spill over cell borders without restriction onto the page. The title story follows Patrick and his mother as they plan and prepare for a picnic. The cub's actions are typically those of a young child—he is curious, imaginative, easily pleased or disappointed, and adventurous. Emotions are clearly read on faces: readers can see Patrick as he is stubborn or joyful, but his mother's face occasionally shows frustration and anger, not understanding. This collection also includes a bully, Big Bear, who pops Patrick's balloon in one story and demands his cookies in another. Patrick finally stands up to him and calls forth his inner "dragon" for courage, but resorts to name-calling after the confrontation. Speech bubbles and easily followed illustration prompts remain good teaching tools for emerging readers, but this title also calls for discussion of how Patrick handles his own feelings and actions. A general purchase for most libraries.—Mary Elam, Learning Media Services, Plano ISD, TX
Children's Literature - Janice DeLongLittle bear Patrick and his mom are planning a picnic just as Daddy Bear is heading off to work. Patrick reminds his mother of all the important things to be put into the basket, such as his toys and some cookies. However, Mother Bear has her own idea about what to pack. While on the excursion, adventures find Patrick; and as he follows his mother's sage advice, he survives each one with aplomb. After the picnic tale, other stories treat events in Patrick's life that will resonate with young reader. Patrick sets off alone to the grocery store and encounters a bully who caused mayhem in the picnic story. However, the conflict this time ends a bit differently, with Patrick learning a valuable lesson and gaining courage. The trilogy concludes with Patrick resisting taking a nap, a scenario familiar to young readers (as well as their parents). After the story, Hayes includes "Tips for Parents and Teachers" and an explanation of three reading levels in this series that will be helpful at school and at home. This title is a part of the "Easy-To-Read Comics" series. Reviewer: Janice DeLong
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