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Benjamin Bear in Bright Ideas!: TOON Level 2 Hardcover – March 26, 2013
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From School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Each page is a new comic-book adventure with hilarious Benjamin Bear, his companion Rabbit, and many other forest friends. Kids will laugh out loud at Benjamin as he solves problems in zany, often misguided, ways. Sure to get a giggle: Rabbit bets him that he can't bring him a squirrel so Benjamin uproots the whole tree and carries it to his friend. The artwork was created using India ink and colored digitally to excellent effect; the animals' expressions are perfectly rendered and the pictures are sometimes the whole story, in a couple of wordless comics. A funny, smart little book that is definitely interesting enough to hold the attention of reluctant readers.-Alison Donnelly, Collinsville Memorial Public Library, ILα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
*Starred Review* The clever bear and his assorted crew of animal pals from Benjamin Bear in Fuzzy Thinking (2011) return for another collection of single-page strips, each one a marvel of economy in setup, delivery, and payoff. Describing any one of the jokes would kill the humor—like any great comedy, they need to be experienced, not explained—but as a whole, Coudray’s gags rely on unlocking often subtle and always surprising visual cues, subverting expectations with inventive solutions to small predicaments, and at times, falling back on simple and sublime absurdity. That the punch lines can be sophisticated, though never out of reach, makes getting the jokes all the more empowering for young readers. The cleanly articulated lines, stoic but cuddly critters, and simple coloring could have come from just about any era—and, indeed, the artist has been working for decades in his native France—but feel right at home in this one. Honing a well-rounded sense of humor may be just as important as any other aspect of childhood learning, and you’ll find no finer choice for that than the ingenious exploits of this very clever bear. Grades K-2. --Ian Chipman
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Inside this book it says that this author's books are often used in the schools in France. I have never heard of Benjamin Bear before but I can see how kids in school could use these books to learn to read. Benjamin Bear is a bear who is very smart. This book is like reading short comic strips with Benjamin Bear and other woodland animals. His comics use creative thinking outside the box which not only make the short comics funny, but make you think, which is good because so much of what we learn doesn't make us really think on our own.
"It's impossible to make something out of nothing."
I have read this book so many times since getting it and it never gets less funny. I only wish it had been like quadruple the size because it really is a great book and so much fun to read. I think kids of all ages will also get a lot of laughs when they read this book. It's simple, colorful, and very entertaining. I would recommend buying this book.
*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review*
*You can view the original review at Musing with Crayolakym and San Francisco & Sacramento City Book Review
Unfortunately, the next volume we read, Benjamin Bear in Fuzzy Thinking, contains some pages where one character hurts another on purpose to make the joke work. A big departure from this one, and no thanks.