Old Bear Tales

Jane Hissey, Author Philomel Books $16.95 (73p) ISBN 978-0-399-21642-8
Readers who enjoyed Old Bear and Little Bear's Trousers are granted longer visits with Old Bear, Bramwell Brown, Lucy the rabbit and Duck, and will meet many new friends as well. One bear wishes to be wrapped up for Christmas, so he might once again surprise the children who own him; another wishes to change his name but finds that the risk of acquiring a new monicker is that no one knows him. Decorating the doll's house for Christmas brings out the best in all of the stuffed animals, and an early-early spring picnic (with hot water bottle) turns from a restful repast into an exciting ride home. Each brief, endearing chapter stands on its own, and these chronicles may be sampled in any order. But unlike the author's picture books, in this story book there are disappointingly few illustrations (mostly portraits in Hissey's characteristic careful textures rather than action shots); from the marvelous descriptions of the new adventures, readers familiar with the other books may anticipate illustrations that simply are not included. In fact, some of the pictures (or fragments of pictures) are reproduced more than once, which makes the book look pasted up and hastily packaged. All ages. (October)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1988
Release date: 12/01/1988
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