cover image Mr. Bear Babysits

Mr. Bear Babysits

Debi Gliori / Author, Golden Books / Author Golden Books $13.

Father Bear doesn't know best when it comes to baby-sitting in this unconvincing and visually confusing domestic sitcom. While Mr. Bear fumbles through bathing and feeding the neighbor's baby, he's repeatedly reminded of his ineptitude by three indistinguishable grizzly cubs who chorus: ``You're not very good at that. . . . That's not the right way to do it. . . . I don't think you're a real babysitter.'' Only when the three bears' rowdy play prompts Mr. Bear to bellow threats and admonishments do they show a little respect. ``You are a real babysitter, after all,'' they say, cowering off to bed. Having asserted himself as a forbidding, bellicose adult, Mr. Bear is suddenly transformed into an ace baby-sitter, and successfully gets Baby Bear scrubbed, fed and bedded. The highly aesthetic coziness which Gliori so masterfully created with color and pattern in When I'm Big is overwhelmed here by the cramped compositions--and by the stereotype-heavy text. Ages 3-7. (May)