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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Scare A Bear, written by Kathy-Jo Wargin and illustrated by John Bendall-Brunello. Sleeping Bear Press, H B Fenn. 2010. $17.95 ages 3 and up

"Do you know how to scare a bear?
Would you bang pots and pans?
Would you rattle some cans?
Would you shout?
Would you yell?
Would you ring a loud bell?"

Just as it is important for schoolchildren to know the whys and hows of practising fire drills, it is important for children and adults who might be in bear country to know what to do if confronted with one of the ursine persuasion. It is better to be safe than sorry!

In lively rhyming text children are asked about their actions when confronted by a bear. Of course, the bear is downright uncooperative. Despite all the pot banging and noisemaking, he isn't scared. Then, what? Many suggestions are given, but the bear seems undeterred by each and every one. When scaring doesn't work, the bear decides to go swimming. Are there rules about a bear being in the lake, and does he care? Out of the water and into a fishing what he wants to do? Perhaps he's hungry. Are you prepared to offer dinner? Do you know what bears eat?

On and on it goes through campfire time and lights out...the bear seems to be a permanent, and certainly peristent, visitor. A phone call alerts the park ranger and he has the 'just right' solution to the problem bear. One simple word...BOO!

Easy, peasy and lots of fun! I can just hear all the 'please read it agains!'

The illustrations add warmth humor and give a face to the relentless bear, and to the camp goers who would like him to leave them alone. They have many ideas, but none seem to work. And actually, they don't look that upset to have the bear amongst them. Pair this with Moose on the Loose (Sleeping Bear Press, 2009)for some all-out animal fun!

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