cover image You're a Genius, Blackboard Bear

You're a Genius, Blackboard Bear

Martha Alexander. Candlewick Press (MA), $12.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-56402-238-7

Alexander's (Even That Moose Won't Listen to Me; A You're Adorable) fourth tale featuring the endearing Anthony and his wise bear pal is a charmer. At bedtime, the boy expresses interest in going to the moon, but his father doesn't know how to build a spaceship. But in the middle of the night, Blackboard Bear steps off the chalkboard and begins to assemble the craft they need to reach the moon. As the two load all the necessary provisions-sleeping bag, snowsuit, water and food-Anthony asks a pivotal question: ""Do you think there are any monsters on the moon? You don't really know?"" He then decides that there might not be enough room for him in the spaceship, and sweetly sends the bear on his way (""Be careful now. Don't bump into any stars""). On the following spread, Blackboard Bear climbs back through the window into Anthony's room, where he places a glowing star on the sleeping boy's bed. Readers expecting an adventure may be disappointed that, after all the buildup, they never do get to witness the bear's journey into space. But Alexander's unadorned narrative and her delicate pencil-and-watercolor art complement each other splendidly, creating a soothing bedtime tale. Ages 3-up. (Apr.)