PATRICK AND THE BIG BULLY

Geoffrey Hayes, Author, Geoffrey Hayes, Illustrator . Hyperion $15.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-7868-0717-8

In this first entry of Hayes's (Bear By Himself) Adventures of Patrick Brown series, a bear cub gets in touch with his inner dragon and triumphs over a bully. The diminutive hero, Patrick, starts out on his maiden solo excursion to Ollie Arwood's bakery, continuing his playacting as a dragon ("He roared at a grasshopper..../ He roared at the sky…./ He roared at some Ants..../ ...and a gold butterfly"). But just around the fence, Big Bear lurks and the fellow loses his bravura. Patrick's friends help him elude the bully, but when the cub finds himself cowering in a flowerpot, he remembers his mother's parting advice and stands up to his nemesis. Hayes packs a crazy quilt of cheery visual elements into his pages with vignettes, full-spread paintings, vignettes-within-spreads, playful typography, callout boxes and word balloons. The narrative's unhurried flow can be comforting, but the occasionally cloying characterizations drag down the pacing—some readers may lose interest before Big Bear gets his comeuppance. But Patrick's personality shines through—in the appealing sturdiness of his body language and the comically determined set of his furry eyebrows, it's clear he's a leading man with staying power. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 10/01/2001
Release date: 09/01/2001
Library Binding - 1 pages - 978-0-7868-2594-3
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