The Bear

Raymond Briggs, Author, J. Schulman, Editor Random House Books for Young Readers $23 (1p) ISBN 978-0-679-86944-3
This oversized book's affecting art and characters and bittersweet ending strongly recall Briggs's contemporary classic, The Snowman; unfortunately, the story lacks Snowman's special magnetism. An opening sequence of tidy panel illustrations shows Tilly falling asleep with her teddy as a creature moves closer and closer to her window. The panels become huge as they reveal the face of an enormous polar bear, who then slips over the sill. Waking, Tilly invites the furry giant to share her bed. She spends the day playing with the bear, bathing and feeding him. She is quite disgusted when he ""poos and wees"" inside the house (""You are awful! I hate you""), and grows exasperated when he falls asleep during a ""serious talk."" Nevertheless, Tilly ends the day by declaring, ""I love you, Bear, with all my heart."" But Bear does not stay. On the final, wordless page, Bear makes his way across a polar landscape and dives into water whose chill one can almost feel-an indication of Briggs's power to draw readers into his pictorial storytelling. The text, however, takes the easy way out: ``Bears can't live in houses with people, can they?... That sort of thing happens only in story books.'' Ages 3-up. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/03/1994
Release date: 10/01/1994
Genre: Children's
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-15454-3
Hardcover - 978-0-679-96944-0
Paperback - 38 pages - 978-0-09-938561-5
Paperback - 40 pages - 978-0-679-89465-0
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