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100 Bears Hardcover – March 18, 2014
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"With vibrant, pleasantly crude artwork that brings to mind the style of mid-20th-century illustrator Clement Hurd, Ms. Bardos tells a bonkers bear tale.’"Wall Street Journal
"A terrific visual romp." -Kirkus Reviews
"The narrative structured around the bears combines with a lighthearted tone to make this inventive take on the traditional counting book effective. Bardos’ stunning artin fluorescent tones of red, orange, fuchsia, purple, and turquoise and highlighted by white, black, and brownis reminiscent of retro graphic design, and the bold compositions allow for group sharing. " -The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"The smile you’ll get from the first and last pages alone is one of the true joys of story." -The Design of the Picture Book
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Top Customer Reviews
Okay, good things first. The illustrations are beautiful--they're colourful and clever and chock-full of retro appeal. In fact I'd say that the "retro appeal" of the pictures is the whole point of the book (it's not actually "retro"--the original French version was only published a year and a half ago--but it definitely has a nostalgic style).But as to how successful it is as a children's book, well...
As a counting book it's not that great. Yes, there are the correct number to "things" on each page, from one to a hundred, but they neither connect as a narrative nor does each page work entirely on its own. In other words, the book makes no sense.
Besides that, at over 50 pages I think that children young enough to enjoy a counting book might get bored or frustrated before finishing this one. Perhaps if there was more to look at on each page (like an I Spy book or a Richard Scarry book, or even the far superior 100 Hungry Monkeys!). As it is, each page is very busy but also quite monotonous.
All in all it's the sort of book that adults might buy for children because they themselves like the artwork, but that, I think, is its main appeal.
Also, this just needs to be said: There are not 100 bears at the end of the book! Why even call the book that? Was I supposed to count how many bears appear in the whole book? That is a lot less fun than it might seem. It drove me nuts.
My four-year-old lost interest in this book about half way through and didn't ask to re-read it (damning with faint praise, I believe).
For more reviews, please visit my blog, Cozy Little Book Journal.