A teddy bear tumbles out of its owner's bed and, even though the toy "tugs and pulls the covers," the child remains oblivious ("two eyes are tight shut"). What's a bear to do? Donaldson (The Gruffalo) and Currey (Don't Forget I Love You) show his attempts to wake the child, with the help of three rambunctious mice ("They roar around in four fast cars/ Then sit and gaze at five bright stars"). There's also a dainty tea with six dolls, a lively pillow fight with seven trolls and a jam session with nine plush frog musicians before the construction of a staircase ("ten red bricks!") topples and brings about the desired results. Currey, in her watercolor-and-ink scenes, eschews nocturnal lighting in favor of sunny nursery colors that capture the giddy, magical fun. And readers who project a wealth of emotions onto their own teddy bears will be assured that while this plush fellow is clearly having a good time, he's not having a great time, and very much wants to be back in bed with the child. The final scene, the very definition of "warm and cuddly" is certain to elicit an "Ahhh" from readers of all ages. Ages 2-6. (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
As his owner sleeps on, the teddy bear falls out of bed and "makes a fuss, Till three mice say 'Play with us!'" Readers can count along in rhymes as the mice and bear race in four cars, gaze at five stars, and trip on to where, finally, nine frogs are playing. Then they can count again, this time to ten, as the sad "ted," still missing bed, builds with bricks. Then they count down again as everything falls down or runs away. But the bear is finally content, as he is tucked back into bed by his wakened boy. Currey's ink line and transparent watercolor illustrations are heart-warming without being sentimental, keeping contextual details to a minimum. Her characters are actively anthropomorphic: her three mice and seven trolls in particular manage a very human grand time. Even the teddy bear retains his somewhat puzzled attitude and single-minded wish to return to bed despite all the distractions provided. Don't miss the arrival of the mice on the front endpapers and their departure on the back. 2006, Henry Holt and Company, Ages 3 to 6.
Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
PreS-K-In this rhythmic counting book, a sleeping child's teddy bear falls out of bed and can't climb back up. Three mice invite him to play, racing four cars, counting five stars, sipping tea with six dolls, and so on. Finally, the toys work together to help the stuffed toy build a 10-brick staircase up to the top of the bed. When the inevitable tumble of bricks occurs, the playthings and mice are counted down as they scatter back to their places. The noise awakens the child, who drowsily reaches for Ted and nestles back to sleep. Although no numerals are used, the text and watercolor-and-ink art combine to show the progression to 10 and back again. The toys in the airy illustrations that sweep across the pages are packed with personality. Perfect for storytimes or one-on-one lapsits, this book can be counted on for a gentle, cozy read.-Marge Loch-Wouters, Menasha's Public Library, WI DOWELL, Frances O'Roark. From the Highly Scientific Notebooks of Phineas L. MacGuire: The First Experiment. illus. by Preston McDaniels. 167p. CIP. S & S/Atheneum. June 2006. Tr $15.95. ISBN 1-4169-0195-7. LC 2005012605. Gr 3-5-Phineas MacGuire loves scientific explanations and experiments. He demands empirical evidence of why old beans stink, how to make film canisters explode, and why fellow fourth-grade scientist Aretha always seems to be right. Mac just can't get back into his scientific groove, though. He misses his best friend and former lab partner, Marcus, who has moved away, and his teacher pairs him with obnoxious classmate Mac R. in the science fair. As the two Macs struggle to agree on a project, Mac R. confesses that his real name is Ben, and the boys plot to introduce the new, improved Ben to the class. Predictably, they make peace and become friends. Details of classroom life, like bouncy Mrs. Tuttle and her frog collection, and the mystery of a mouse in the paper closet, ring true. However, the story is surprisingly bland, given the author's past successes. Fans of funny, realistic chapter books might find Mac likable, but they are unlikely to remember him or to clamor for more.-Wendi Hoffenberg, formerly at Yonkers Public Library, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
This counting rhyme is sure to comfort any child who has had a stuffed friend suffer a nighttime fall. When Ted tumbles to the bedroom floor, he tries to pull his way back up, but he gets no help from the bed's sleeping occupant, even when he begins to fuss. Three mice notice, though, and ask him to play. They have adventures galore, driving in four cars, gazing at five stars, but Ted still misses his bed. A frog suggests he build a stair, and all help him, counting each block added. But, "ten bricks crash, / nine frogs hop, / And eight balloons go / BANG SNAP POP!" Luckily, two represents the eyes of his beloved friend, which open and see Ted safely back to bed. Donaldson's gentle rhymes will lull youngsters to sleep, likely dreaming of their own stuffed animals' adventures. The numbers are a natural and seamless part of the story. Currey's objects are large and easy for young listeners to spot and count. Her illustrations fit the mood perfectly, especially the facial expressions on the toys and the mice-they truly come alive. A sweet addition to any bedtime routine. (Picture book. 2-6)