cover image NO TROUBLE AT ALL


Sally Grindley, , illus. by Eleanor Taylor. . Bloomsbury, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-58234-757-8

Two little bears outfox their grandfather in Grindley's (The Sorcerer's Apprentice, reviewed Apr. 1) sly offering. "Shhh! They're fast asleep. Don't wake them up," says the grandfather bear to his cat companion. "They're such good little bears when they come to stay. When I was their age I was full of mischief." But it's soon clear to readers that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Taylor, in her American debut, reveals the cubs' true nature in comical full-bleed watercolors. Paired with the grandfather's blissfully naïve comments, they're all the more entertaining. "These old houses are full of strange noises," he says as the little ones engage in a pillow fight. "I'd better just check those little bears aren't frightened." When the cubs sneak outside and leave the door ajar, he says, "I guess I didn't close the door properly. Silly of me." The duo sees their chance to dart back inside and up to bed when the big bear goes to fetch a picnic basket from the shed: "They deserve a treat, those little bears. They're absolutely no trouble. No trouble at all." The premise may be well-worn, but the poker-faced text plays straight man to Taylor's charming artwork. Her illustrations of the impish cubs in a cozy tree dwelling make clear that the ursine siblings mean no harm. Ages 2-up. (June)