Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Bear Despair

Another wordless treasure from Enchanted Lion, who seems to be the king of finding the really great ones. 
Bear is peacefully snoozing away with his teddy tucked under his arm, when Wolf happens past. And wouldn't it be a funny joke to pluck out that teddy bear and fling it away as far as he can? Not to Bear. Turns out to be not so funny for Wolf either, after Bear gobbles him up as penance. With a scowl on his face, and Wolf safely tucked away in his belly, Bear starts to hunt for his teddy. He smiles when he sees that Lion has picked up the toy. Apparently Lion shares Wolf's sense of humor, because instead of returning the stuffed animal, he mocks Bear and tosses his toy over a steep cliff. For that, Lion gets gobbled up and finds himself right next to Wolf.  

The really brilliant part of this book is that Dorémus allows us to see the goings on inside of Bear's tummy. In no time at all, Wolf and Lion are joined by a pair of eggs (soon to hatch) gulped down as retribution from a teddy snatching bird. By the time an elephant find his way inside, Bear is quite large, his head balancing atop his mammoth body like a tiny pea. Possibly it is his fearsome size that persuades the Octopus to return his teddy. As soon as Bear is pacified, those who were eaten are now released and Bear returns to his nap.  

This is indeed clever, and deftly proves you don't always need to have words to understand the story being told. Just how brilliant are these illustrations? Brilliant enough to have won a spot on the New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books of 2012.

Review copy provided by Enchanted Lion. 


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