Bossy Bear

David Horvath, Author . Hyperion $12.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4231-0336-3

This debut picture book by one of the creators of the Uglydolls plush toys suffers from a heavy-handed plot and ineffective character development. "Bossy Bear is very bossy," announces the narrator. "He likes things his way all the time." Throughout most of the book, the pushy bear bares his cartoon teeth and speaks in capital letters, emphasized with exclamation points: "Clean my room! Make my bed!!!... Faster! " The blue bear's crown and red cape do little to ameliorate his one-dimensional personality. His "To Do List" of favorite things includes the bulleted imperatives, "Do what I want. Take me where I want to go. Hurry up! " The black-lined cartoon characters appear on plain, brightly colored pages, and they bear a striking resemblance to the plush dolls created by the author. The denouement that features Bossy Bear finally deciding to share seems needlessly abrupt: a toothy green turtle appears and gives Bossy Bear the red balloon he demands. "You are bossy," he tells the bear. "But you don't have to be." Wordless pages show the bear unexpectedly presenting the turtle with a small crown just like his own. Unfortunately, Bossy Bear's expression is the same at the end of the book as it was at the beginning, thus muddling message about how small tyrants must learn how to share. Ages 2-5. (May)

Reviewed on: 04/16/2007
Release date: 00/00/0000
Genre: Children's
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