cover image Mr. Bear's Picnic

Mr. Bear's Picnic

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

Nothing goes quite as planned when Mr. Bear offers to take the baby on a picnic while Mrs. Bear sleeps in. The two Grizzly-Bear boys also join the party, but complain about Mr. B.'s choice of lunchtime locales (``Dad always brings us here.... It's boring''). Far worse, however, is the discovery that the supposed picnic basket contains ``a teddy bear, a set of blocks, and some toys with wheels.'' The senior bruin finally saves face-and the day-in time for all to join in a cozy feast back at home. Kids and parents alike are apt to recognize familiar predicaments in Gliori's amusing tale (for bears, her characters know a lot about human nature). As in her earlier Mr. Bear Babysits, Gliori's pen-and-watercolor art shows huggable bruins that look like one part stuffed toy, one part Pooh and one part Disney cartoon: these expressive characters radiate warmth and family love in even their ``worst'' moments. Ages 3-7. (May)