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Bear Despair (Stories Without Words) Hardcover – September 4, 2012
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"The art is lovely; the crosshatch style and color palette are unique and childlike. Dorémus depicts the animals’ emotions in gorgeous ways, such as the worry in the eyes of Lion when the eggs start hatching or the spread showing Bear under a rain cloud, mourning the loss of his teddy. This charming book is a winner." -- STARRED REVIEW, School Library Journal
"There are no words to describe a great bear's heartbreak when a fox swipes his stuffed teddy in Bear Despair, a captivating pictures-only book for all ages by French illustrator Gaetan Doremus. Wordless illustrated books necessarily exact an extra measure of concentration from whose who "read" them - there are no sentences, after all, to explain the images - and this one repays the effort in surprising and gratifying ways." -- Meghan Cox Gurdon, The Wall Street Journal
"In this wordless tale, the French illustrator uses a storyboard format of large and small encircled scenes on a white page to tell an energetic and emotional tale. [...] Colorful drawings with overlays of swirling lines sweep by at a fast pace as the action grows increasingly frantic, mirroring Bear’s growing anxiety. A lesson to be learned: don’t mess with the teddy. An imaginative and well-designed chase." -- Kirkus Reviews
Top Customer Reviews
Lets cut to the chase. This is going to be one of those books that is not going to appeal to every mom/dad/teacher. The story is one where a bear is having a nice rest when a fox steals his teddy bear. Bear gives chase and almost gets his lovey back, but fox tosses it away. A lion finds it and Bear again gives chase. This continues until the end when, of course, the reader is satisfied and bear and toy are reunited.
What's controversial about all this is that the angry bear swallows all the naughty animals that don't give him back his bear. He swallows the fox, and then the lion and the eagle. And like Cronus disgorging his children, the satisfied bear (having his teddy back) releases the other animals from his stomach.
Now there are surely multiple ways of looking at this story. One could see the story as a way to use imagination to empower a toddler. And certainly some small fry would like to have the power to correct injustices, and otherwise get their way.
However, there are probably going to be moms like me who are going to wonder if it's a good idea to expose very little children to any sort of violence and uncontrolled rage. That call, of course, should be made based on the children. Some comprehend abstracts better than others at the toddler to kindergarten age.
I wasn't crazy about Chicken Thief --another book in this series-- so it shouldn't be surprising that I have some hesitations about this one. But in general, I like it better than Béatrice Rodriguez' little book.
The artwork though is not going to work for all children.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bear is peacefully snoozing away with his teddy tucked under his arm, when Wolf happens past. And wouldn't it be a funny joke to pluck out that teddy bear and fling it away as far... Read morePublished on January 9, 2013 by FIRR-Kids!