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Saturday, March 2, 2013

What's Up, Bear? Written by Frieda Wishinsky and illustrated by Sean L. Moore. OwlKids, 2012. $16.95 ages 2 and up

We're up, Bear.
We're down, Sophie.
Isn't it fun to go fast?
I like slow better."

In this concept book which deal with opposites, we meet two cute characters who couldn't be more opposite than they already are. Sophie and her teddy bear are making a plan to travel to New York City. One is excited, the other is miserable. One is enticed by the big city and its many sights. The other would rather stay right where he is...on Sophie's bed, and under the covers.

There are fourteen different opposing pairs here for young readers to observe and understand. Most of them are easily recognized; the least common pair is likely to be forget and remember. Each is given perfect context for gaining knowledge. They are placed on opposing pages, making them easy to pair for little ones.

The phrasing is easy to see on the detailed pages, the concept words stand out in bold print and the book's design is bright  and clear. Sean L. Moore does a commendable job of making the cartoon-like characters and the big city setting stand out. His expression-filled faces, and the colorful backgrounds make this trip to New York both exciting and overwhelming. 

When Bear is left behind, it seems that all of his worries were worth worrying. Some of Sophie's exuberance is as lost as Bear is. His return assures that they share one strong feeling...happiness! 

On the back endpapers, information is provided about each of the seven New York landmarks visited. I enjoyed that addition!      

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