Thursday, October 20, 2011

Grin and Bear It (Cybils Nominee)

"What do you get when a bear walks through you vegetable garden?"
"What is a bear's favorite baseball team?"
"Why do hummingbirds hum?"

Bear has some really great jokes. And he wants to tell them and hear his friends laugh. So he books a gig at the Woodland Stage. He invites all his friends, and when they show up on the big day, Bear step on stage and.... Bombs. Big time. Stricken by stage fright, Bear stumbles off into the night. Luckily, there is a solution to Bear's woes and by the end of this heartfelt and funny early chapter book, Bear sees his dream come true, although not in the way he--or the reader--might have predicted.

Author/illustrator Leo Landry has created an engaging character in Bear, a comedian better suited to writing the jokes than performing them. The seven chapters are sprinkled with jokes, the kind that kids in the early primary grades love to tell and which adults groan after hearing. The colorful illustrations are simple and spare, yet with enough details to help beginning readers with the text.

Oh, and the answers to the jokes? "Squash." "The Cubs." "Because they don't know the words." Groan!

Grin and Bear It
by Leo Landry
Charlesbridge, 48 pages
Published: July 2011

This book was nominated by Franki Sibberson for the 2011 Cybils Awards in the Easy Reader/Early Chapter Book category. I am a first-round panelist in this category, and this review reflects my opinion only.

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