cover image Where Bear?

Where Bear?

Sophy Henn. Philomel, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-17158-1

This whimsical story opens with a small bear cub and a human boy. The bear grows quickly, and soon the two can barely squeeze onto a couch together. “I think it’s time we found you a new place to live where you can be bearish and big,” the boy says. “But where, bear?” He proposes various possibilities—a circus, a forest, a cave—but the bear rejects each option with a terse “No.” The repetition continues until the boy remembers that certain bears (especially ones with white fur) like the Arctic. Instead of “No,” the bear says, “Snow,” and the choice is made. Bear finds the northward move satisfactory, and he and the boy stay in touch, “chit-chattering on the phone all the time” (“We should go somewhere like we used to,” proposes the bear in an oddly loquacious departure from his previous one-word responses). Debut talent Henn favors heavy, lithographic lines and crude shapes on saturated, monochrome backdrops. Her illustrations make more of an impact than her playful, but rather ho-hum tale. Ages 5–8. Agent: Paul Moreton, Bell Lomax Moreton Literary Agency. (Jan.)