Nothing Can Frighten a Bear

Elizabeth Dale, illus. by Paula Metcalf. Nosy Crow, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-9627-6
Baby Bear is asleep in bed when a resounding roar awakens him. Despite Mommy Bear’s assurance that “there aren’t any monsters,” Baby Bear isn’t sure. His need for proof sends his family of five into the forest to search for monsters. Dale’s rhymes bound along steadily, and her use of repetition, ellipses, and emphasized words builds light suspense: “So all the bears stopped—could a monster be near?/ But out of the darkness there trotted a... deer! Daddy Bear insists that “nothing can frighten a bear,” but the rest of the family is startled by the sudden appearances of animals, creating comic irony that even young readers will appreciate. Metcalf’s mixed-media cartoons effectively lighten the monster-driven plot. Her bears have vibrant brown fur, contrasting with the landscape’s cool blue and green tones, and her charcoal-like shading gives depth to the forest scenery. Daddy Bear’s confidence is shaken when the other family members start to disappear, one by one, but Dale keeps the mood funny and light, right up to the revelation of what startled Baby Bear to begin with. Ages 3–7. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/06/2017
Release date: 01/02/2018
Genre: Children's
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