That Bear Can’t Babysit

Ruth Quayle, illus. by Alison Friend. Nosy Crow, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-9952-9
When an oversized bear agrees to babysit a large brood of bunnies, disasters naturally ensue. The mischievous bunny siblings persuade Bear they’re allowed to read scary stories, eat a supper of sweets, and play with the garden hose. All is well and good until they catch a cold. “That bear can’t babysit!” the bunnies declare after each incident leaves them frightened, sick, and chilled, respectively. But Bear is a more knowledgeable babysitter than first impressions suggest, and before the night is over, all of the bunnies have been fed and put to bed with an appropriate book. Well, almost all of the bunnies. First-time children’s author Quayle writes from a parent’s perspective, and the story is slowed down by excessive detail at times (they play for “27 whole minutes”). Nevertheless, eventful, crayon-like mixed media illustrations by Friend (Freddy and Frito) lend narrative fluidity to the story, emphasizing the humor to be found in bear’s charming missteps—which he more than compensates for in kindheartedness. Ages 3–7. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/14/2018
Release date: 07/10/2018
Genre: Children's
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