|One bear extraordinaire|
Author: McGowan, Jayme
Every morning Bear wakes up with a song in his head, but one day he realizes the song needs something more and sets out to find what is missing, gathering a band of animal musicians along the way.
Kirkus Reviews (+) (07/15/15)
School Library Journal (09/01/15)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 09/01/2015 PreS-Gr 2—Bear is a "rambling musician" and composer who plays triangle, tambourine, xylophone, drums, harmonica, trumpet, and cowbell, but mostly guitar. Dressed in jeans and a red and white cap and carrying instruments and camping gear on his back, Bear meets a succession of other pants-wearing woodland animal musicians. Each of them adds something to Bear's unfinished song, except Wolf Pup, who fails at every instrument he tries. When the moon rises, however, Wolf Pup adds his voice, the very sound Bear had been missing all along. The story is a musically inflected version of the reams of picture books about finding one's individual gifts; the art is the real star here. Collage, drawing, and three-dimensional layered cut-paper illustrations photographed by the author-illustrator will reward close looking. The bright-eyed animals and their exquisite paper accessories (from buttons to s'mores) have a dollhouse charm. VERDICT This gentle, folksy tale will be a harmonious addition to many collections.—Sarah Stone, San Francisco Public Library - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 09/15/2015 Bear is a musical sensation “known across the wilderness for his nimble paws, honey harmonies, and twinkle-toed grace,” until one day his music loses its extraordinary quality. He begins to search high and low for the elusive element his songs are lacking. Along the way, he joins forces with a banjo-playing fox, an accordion-playing raccoon, and a fiddle-playing rabbit. While their sound is good, bear knows something is still missing. At last, a wolf pup joins the group and provides the key ingredient when he begins to howl. Bear watches “the music swirl and hover over the ridge . . . echo through the canyon . . . and fill the sky.” Beautifully designed, richly colored cut-paper illustrations effectively show the movement implicit in Bear’s musical search while allowing each character’s unique personality to shine through. Sweeping landscapes alternate with scenes in rustic frames that give the effect of placing the characters on a stage. There is much to relish in this story of camaraderie. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.