cover image There’s a Bear on My Chair

There’s a Bear on My Chair

Ross Collins. Nosy Crow, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-8942-1

A playful portrait of impotent rage, Collins’s (The Elephantom) rhyming story looks at what happens when a problem is just too big to tackle. A huge lunk of a polar bear has taken a liking to a mouse’s chair; it’s comically small for him, and he spills over the sides. The bear gives a gleeful wave to readers as the mouse fumes: “He is so big,/ it’s hard to share./ There isn’t any/ room to spare.” While the bear reads the newspaper and models his Elvis costume (“He has fine taste in leisure wear,/ I’m fond of how he does his hair”), the mouse rants and schemes, tempting the bear with treats, then making other plans (“Maybe I’ll give him a scare—/ I’ll jump out in my underwear!”). Unimpressed, the bear checks his phone. The encounter ends with a neat reversal of circumstances in a nearby igloo. Collins’s drawings win laughs with confident, swooping lines and witty details (the silver tips on the collar of the bear’s Elvis shirt), and his sparkling verse has the ring of a nursery classic. Ages 2–5. (Aug.)