cover image It's the Bear!

It's the Bear!

Jez Alborough. Candlewick Press (MA), $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-56402-486-2

``We don't get great big bears around here,'' says Eddie's mother as she unpacks a picnic lunch in the woods. But when she leaves Eddie and his teddy Freddie to retrieve the blueberry pie she's forgotten, an enormous bear gobbles up all the food and asks what's for dessert. ``Oh, please,'' whimpers Eddie, hiding inside the picnic basket, ``don't let it be me.'' In this comical sequel to Where's My Teddy? both Eddie and the reader can see the bear looming menacingly behind Eddie's mother as she confidently assures him that there are no bears in the woods. While the plot is not as surprising nor the text as rhythmic as Alborough's earlier teddy book, his talent for broad visual humor allows him to make the most of the comedic premise. Cartoon-like panels draw out the action as the bear leans over and slowly opens the picnic basket. The suspense is just scary enough for preschoolers, who will love the pie-in-the-sky ending in which both the bear and Eddie's mother get their just deserts. Ages 3-up. (Nov.)