Grizzly Boy

Barbara Davis-Pyles, illus. by Tracy Subisak. Little Bigfoot, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-63217-168-9
When Theo proclaims one morning that he’s not Theo anymore but Grizzly Boy (“Grizzly Boy does not wear pj’s... or UNDERWEAR! GRIZZLY BOY is WILD AND FREE!”), his mother is unfazed. If he’s Grizzly Boy, she reasons, he won’t need Frosted Monster Bites for breakfast; bears eat fruit and vegetables. When Grizzly Boy wants to play Supersonic-Smash Storm Racer instead of going to school, a “No Bears” sign appears taped across the playroom door. Dueling art styles by Subisak (Shawn Loves Sharks) ramp up bear-vs.-human tension as printed text alternates with bold, hand-lettered speech balloons to represent Grizzly Boy’s powerful roars. She has fun with the background, too, imagining Theo’s surroundings shifting in and out of forest habitat, as when the staircase becomes a river with salmon leaping upstream. Grizzly Boy’s school day doesn’t go much better, but his mom is ready for him when he gets home, and Theo discovers that grown-ups get grumpy sometimes, too. With brisk pacing and humor that will stand up to repeat readalouds, Davis-Pyles’s debut celebrates the way a parent-and-child bond can withstand everyday grouchiness. Ages 3–7. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/30/2018
Release date: 09/04/2018
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