cover image The Bear’s Song

The Bear’s Song

Benjamin Chaud. Chronicle, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4521-1424-8

In the Buster Keatonesque climax of this glorious romp from Chaud (Pomelo’s Opposites), Papa Bear takes a dive through some opera house scenery and lands in a crystal chandelier onstage, dangling above two very surprised singers. How did he get there? His son, Little Bear, has spent the book chasing a single bee in hopes of finding honey. Papa Bear, in turn, has been chasing Little Bear through one spread to the next, from their native forest (where Papa Bear’s presence starts an animal stampede) into the bustling streets of a French city (where almost no one notices him) and into the opera house. Though the song Papa Bear roars to the startled audience doesn’t go over well (“Wait a minute. Where is everyone going?”), he finds Baby Bear at last—and some honey, too. The hide-and-seek quality of the oversize spreads contributes much of the story’s fun—alert searchers can always find the bears and bee, but the riot of French life that surrounds them is just as entertaining. Closely and affectionately observed, Chaud’s tale bursts with joie de vivre. Bis! Ages 3–5. (Oct.)