From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 1—The bear from Nyeu's Wonder Bear
(Dial, 2008) returns in three simple stories. In each tale, six white bunnies are lounging around when Mr. or Mrs. Goat comes by and disrupts them. Bear comes to the rescue and repairs the damage. Each story ends with, "Everyone is happy." Although they may be satisfied, Bear's problem-solving methods are dubious. In the first tale, the bunnies are splattered in mud from Mr. Goat's tractor. Bear puts the bunnies in a washing machine (conveniently located in the meadow) and then hangs them up by their ears to dry on a clothesline overnight. Next, Mrs. Goat is inexplicably vacuuming the field and sucks up the bunnies that are dozing in their underground burrow (but not the leaves or grass from the ground). Bear removes them from the vacuum cleaner bag, hangs them on a vertical clothesline, and directs a large fan at them to blow off the dirt. In the final story, Mr. Goat cuts off the bunnies' tales while trimming the bushes. Bear uses a sewing machine to stitch them back on. Don't try this at home, kids! Nyeu's illustrations are silk-screened using water-based ink. The pastel palette and thickly outlined characters and objects are reminiscent of those in Crockett Johnson's Harold and the Purple Crayon
(HarperCollins, 1955). The simple language and layout of the book make it suitable for beginning readers, but the art far outshines the unremarkable text.—Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT
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Nyeu offers a trio of quirky mishap tales in this dynamic picture book. The stories—each starring a group of wee bunnies, a helpful bear, and various domestic machines—are quick and packed full of cute: Bear sends the muddy bunnies for a spin in the washing machine, then hangs them out to dry; Bear fixes Mrs. Goat’s bunny-clogged vacuum cleaner; and Bear uses a sewing machine to reattach the bunnies’ tails after a garden-pruning mix-up by Mr. Goat. All end with a reassuring “Everyone is happy” and are mostly showcases for Nyeu’s elegant quiltlike artwork. Each tale is given a distinct color scheme that brings to mind the seasonal washes of Kevin Henkes’ Old Bear (2008), from watery aquas to dusty oranges to grassy greens. The engaging whorls and curved lines offer plenty to savor visually, and an added auditory element (“WHIRRRRR goes the fan” and “Zumm-Zumm-Zumm-Zumm goes the sewing machine”) adds to the fun when read aloud. Preschool. --Ian Chipman