cover image The Teddy Bears' Picnic

The Teddy Bears' Picnic

Jimmy Kennedy, Renate Kozikowski. MacMillan Publishing Company, $10.95 (34pp) ISBN 978-0-689-71362-0

The only missing ingredient here are the obligatory ants, in this cheery animation of the lyrics to John Bratton's lilting 1907 song. Various bear families are seen bustling about Kozikowski's cozy cottages in preparation for the outing. After trekking across an inviting, patchwork-quilt landscape, the hungry bruins arrive at a pine-framed glade and spread out a lavish repast. Badminton and butterfly catching are among the day's pursuits, until ``at six o'clock their mommies and daddies will take them home to bed.'' Providing extra fun are the alternating cut-out half pages, as children can truly view ``both sides of the situation.'' Though the artist's sparkling colors and intricate details create an amiable impression overall, the book doesn't quite measure up to its beguiling source--a certain flatness creeps in, owing perhaps to a lack of characterization in the leading players. Ages 3-7. (Apr.)