Benjamin Bear in Fuzzy Thinking

Philippe Coudray. Candlewick/Toon, $12.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-935179-12-2
Anthropomorphized animals are nothing new in children’s literature—least of all anthropomorphized bears—but the antics of Benjamin Bear feel unique. This French comic book, now translated into English, follows Benjamin Bear through a series of eccentric short stories that each fit one page. Benjamin goes through his life doing things one oughtn’t to do but having no understanding of why. For instance, he sees his friend the fox chopping bricks in half, karate style. Benjamin Bear says he can do that, too, but makes the fox chop some more bricks unable to understand that he, Benjamin, ought to be the one chopping the bricks himself. This leads to some silly, lighthearted humor. At other times the comics turn to rumination, as when the bear and the rabbit watch the sun go down together. They light a candle, and it, too, goes out on them, leaving them in darkness. The words are mostly fairly simple, and it’s aimed for preschool and above. All of the pictures are in color, and while they’re not overly detailed, Coudray is meticulous with background landscape. Ages 4–8. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 09/05/2011
Release date: 08/01/2011
Genre: Children's
Prebound-Other - 31 pages - 978-0-606-31596-8
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-1-935179-25-2
Library Binding - 36 pages - 978-1-61479-299-4
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