Breaking News: Bear Alert!

David Biedrzycki. Charlesbridge, $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-58089-663-4
Chaos reigns in this mock televised caper, when a children’s nature show called Our Furry Planet is interrupted by a bulletin about two bears on the loose. The brown, cartoonish bears ramble along upright, try out binoculars acquired from the frightened Furry Planet host, and appear oblivious to the panic they cause as they dance in the streets and visit a photo booth. Biedrzycki (Me and My Dragon), whose illustrations call to mind Dan Santat’s work in the Oh No! books, composes the landscape-oriented pages as a wide-screen, high-definition news broadcast, complete with man-on-the-scene interviews—a clueless mother is too busy with her phone to notice the bears; a diner cook explains his refusal to serve the “barefoot” bears—a scrolling blue ticker with updates from a “Skycam 3” helicopter, and multiple security videos. Two burglars and their cat take advantage of the fray, as seen on video at a “Paddington’s” department store, until the bears accidentally foil the crooks and are deemed heroes. Bear wordplay, puns, and children’s book references abound in this romp, which comically exploits our cultures of distraction and surveillance. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/04/2014
Release date: 09/09/2014
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-1-58089-664-1
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