Making her debut with this publication of her M.F.A. thesis project, Nyeu tells the wordless story of two children who cultivate an enormous beanstalk-like plant, which in turn sprouts the titular bear, all in one night. With help from Wonder Bear's magical blue hat, the children are treated to a series of fantastic spectacles and adventures, culminating in a ride through the sky on the back of a royal dolphin in the company of other sea creatures. Elaborate patterning, a fondness for curvilinear motifs (gusts of wind, swirls in the ocean) and a saturated palette dominated by lapis and other gem tones give Nyeu's silk-screened compositions a sumptuous, Art Nouveau-meets-psychedelic feel. But her main characters lack the personality to drive a compelling narrative arc; in general, these pictures are like individual showcases for different visual challenges (how to re-create transparent surfaces, how to suggest clouds and sky, etc.). Nyeu's art makes a strong impression; it just doesn't tell much of a story. Ages 3-5. (Sept.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Wonder Bearby Tao Nyeu
Two kids plant mysterious seeds (all that's pictured on the envelope is a blue top hat), and up grows a remarkable flowering vine, out of which emerges an even more remarkable big white bear. On his head is the top hat-a hat that allows him to work all kinds of magic that day. He pulls monkey after monkey from the hat, blows bubbles in amazing shapes, and
Two kids plant mysterious seeds (all that's pictured on the envelope is a blue top hat), and up grows a remarkable flowering vine, out of which emerges an even more remarkable big white bear. On his head is the top hat-a hat that allows him to work all kinds of magic that day. He pulls monkey after monkey from the hat, blows bubbles in amazing shapes, and transforms flowers into spectacular floating sea creatures.
The two kids are wide-eyed with wonder, and you will be too. This is a dazzling debut-a vibrant, welcoming, strikingly original picture book.
A dream fantasy in which a boy and a girl plant a "hat seed." Overnight, the seed bears magical fruit: a large white bear with a blue hat. From this hat, the bear proceeds to extract monkeys and porpoises as well as sea and firmament into which he carries the drowsing children. Finally cuddling them and tucking them in once again, the dream bear and monkeys drift back into the night. The slight, wordless story is a showcase for Nyeu's art. Executed in silkscreen with water-based ink, the bold palette of warm golden oranges and cool blues, assertive line, and handsome design are strikingly confident. There are a few visual holes in the story, but on the whole, this debut is worth a second look, even if it is not an essential purchase.-Kate McClelland, Perrot Memorial Library, Old Greenwich, CT
- Penguin Young Readers Group
- Publication date:
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 9.52(w) x 12.14(h) x 0.49(d)
- Age Range:
- 3 - 5 Years
Meet the Author
Wonder Bear was Tao Nyeu’s thesis project as a second-year graduate student at the School of Visual Arts in New York. She now lives in Los Angeles, California.
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