When More Bears! showed up in our mailbox, I was a titch reluctant to open it because of how highly I rate Kenn Nesbitt's poetry books. What if his first crack at a picture book didn't measure up? Yeah, that was a complete waste of a good worry. Kenn is brilliant about knowing what children will like and being able to insert just the right amount of wackiness. It follows that his picture book is hilarious.
This is actually a story about an author who is in the process of writing a story. It's a lovely story and very specific about the fact that it does not contain a single bear; there are no bears and there will not be any bears. The author is working away on his bearless story, when he hears "More bears!!" called out several times. He is compelled to add one bear just so he can continue working, but that one bear will not stop the demands. More and more bears are added until the story is so full that bears are falling off the pages.
So yes, the concept is funny. Obviously the title of the book is also the catchphrase - repeated page after page. It's perfect, as kids catch on quickly and really get into it. I can only imagine how popular this would be read aloud to a large group. But it is the bears themselves that had us laughing. Bears named Captain Picklehead, Bobcat Sam, and Excellent Steve. We cracked up every time a new bear entered the scene. Our personal favorite was the bear named Elbow, who wore his underpants on the outside of his pants.
Not to give away the ending, but my six year old asked "Will there be a sequel, called More Chickens!!?" I would love nothing more than to see Kenn and Troy collaborate again and give us more hilarious picture books!
Review copy provided by Sourcebooks.