cover image Bear Buys a Car: 9

Bear Buys a Car: 9

Stephen Wyllie. Dial Books, $13.95 (22pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-1840-1

Inventive paper engineering allows youngsters to drive over hills and across bridges with Bear in his new car, which will run when he says ``go,'' stop when he says ``halt'' and use carrots and potatoes as fuel. Or so says Wolf at Wolf Motors. But Bear soon discovers that his new-fangled motor does not represent what Wolf calls ``the latest advances in design technology'' but is actually Pig, who has been peddling away under the hood. (Wolf will gobble him up if he doesn't.) The two scheme, and Wolf gets his just deserts (as wolves almost always do). The real joy comes from the clever touches, including car doors that open, hoods that lift and wheels that turn. An added bonus is the use of authentic terms like ``camshafts'' and ``fuel injection.'' Youngsters may not know what these things do but the lingo, which sounds impressive, will strike a chord with eager car enthusiasts just the same. Expressive, lighthearted illustrations cheerfully complement this jolly tale, and the just-right renderings of a gullible Bear and a pleasingly detestable, smirking Wolf promise youngsters they won't find a lemon here. Ages 4-7. (Sept.)