cover image More Bears!

More Bears!

Kenn Nesbitt, illus. by Troy Cummings, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, $12.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4022-3835-2

In this rollicking metafictional romp, poet Nesbitt's first picture book, the bald author of a story is interrupted by anonymous voices that demand "MORE BEARS!!" ("Were those the voices of children shouting?"). Initially grumpy about the intrusion, the author complies—with every page turn there's another speech bubble calling for more bears—until there are "so many bears in the story that they couldn't all fit on the page." In Nickelodeon-ready cartoons, Cummings brings the idiosyncratic, one-of-a-kind bears to life, including Astrobear, who "was Bulgarian and always kept a hamster in his pocket, just in case," and "a papa bear, whose name, by the way, was Captain Picklehead, and a bear named Uncle Sheldon, who was bald and loved to play the ukulele." When the author finally decides to reclaim his story, any disappointment about the disappearance of the happy-go-lucky bears is mitigated by one last surprise demand for a story with... "More Chickens!" Kids will be shouting along with every request for more bears—it's a story that's made for read-aloud, though it's all but guaranteed to be a rowdy one. Ages 1–8. (Nov.)