The Washington Post
Very Hairy Bear (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)by Alice Schertle
FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. Recounts the experiences of a shaggy, "boulder-big" bear as the four seasons come to the beautiful wood which is his home.
The Washington Post
With snappy internal rhymes and pared-down illustrations, Schertle (All You Need for a Snowman) and Phelan (The New Girl... and Me) chronicle the yearly cycle of "a boulder-big bear with shaggy, raggy, brownbear hair everywhere... except on his no-hair nose." With his ultra-bushy coat to protect him and a naked nose to guide him, the bear happily eats his way from spring through fall: snapping up salmon from a river; raiding a honey-filled tree despite the bees; lolling in a blueberry patch, gobbling "the berries and the bushes, too" until his nose turns blue. Winter presents the one serious challenge to his untroubled sybaritic existence ("A very hairy bear DOES care about ice cold air on his no-hair nose"), but with a little ingenuity, that worry is put to bed-literally and figuratively. Phelan's easy-does-it, fluid draftsmanship on sepia-toned pages reflects the text's low-key humor, gaining energy from splashes of riveting color (the scene in the blueberry patch merits a look). It's fun to see the many ways the illustrator fits his beguiling behemoth of a hero onto a page or spread, always conveying the sense that the fellow is as cushy (and about as soigné) as an unmade king-size bed. Ages 3-7. (Sept.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
A large, brown bear has hair everywhere except for his nose. As the seasons change, readers witness his bold moves, with the hairless appendage leading the way. He dives into the cool water for salmon, pokes his nose into buzzing beehives, and ferrets out acorns in spite of scolding squirrels. It is when winter comes, and naptime nears, that the animal must find a way to cover up his bare nose. Schertle makes frequent use of interior rhymes and alliteration to move the action along, but there are a few awkward moments that interrupt the flow. So while Phelan's soft, muted close-ups, rendered in strong outlines with pastel and pencil, lend themselves to sharing with a group, readers will have to practice several times to achieve an effective delivery. It is worth the effort, however, to follow this droll creature through the year. The jolt of cobalt on the spread depicting the bear lolling in a blueberry patch provides a glorious contrast to the cream-colored background in a particularly delightful composition. Children will chuckle when the animal scratches his "bear behind" on a tree trunk before settling down for the winter. A fresh selection for storytimes on bears, hair, or hibernation.
Wendy LukehartCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
- Demco Media
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- THIS EDITION IS INTENDED FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY
- Product dimensions:
- 11.10(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.40(d)
- Age Range:
- 4 - 8 Years
Meet the Author
ALICE SCHERTLE has written many well-loved books for children, including Little Blue Truck and Little Blue Truck Leads the Way . She lives in Plainfield, Massachusetts.
MATT PHELAN many books include Very Hairy Bear by Alice Schertle and The Storm in the Barn, winner of the Scott O'Dell Award. He lives in Philadelphia.
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