griz and bear it

My Bear Griz, Suzanne McGinness
McGinness’ book about a boy and his pet grizzly bear—we find out at the end that it’s his teddy bear, of course!—showcases her ability to illustrate using a variety of mediums: watercolor, pen and ink, collage. The artwork and colors are beautiful; I particularly loved how Griz was drawn in pen and ink, almost as though the little boy himself drew the bear into reality. However, I felt as though the pictures would have been appreciated more with the older picture book audience, and this book is definitely for the five and under crowd. The story line is simple and for me, uninteresting.

Age: Preschool
The Not –So Scary Snorklum, Paul Bright, Jane Chapman
I love Jane Chapman’s artwork! I love that it is familiar in its’ sweet faced animals, her use of warm colors, the fluidity of her artwork in telling the story.  (Chapman may be better known for her adorable pictures in The Bear series by Karma Wilson.)

Honestly, I didn’t want to like this book when I started reading it, this was due to the fact that the main character’s  a “Snorklum,” and I was in a foul grown-up mood, not wanting to read the word SNORKLUM! DAMN IT! But I kept reading and loving the pictures; was pleased by Bright’s subtle use of aliteration and the rote learning technique—the action repeated by each new character:
“ ‘If you really are the scary Snorklum,” said Badger.
‘Why are your knees knocking?’
‘And your tail twitching?’ said rabbit.
‘And your whiskers wibbling?’ Added mole.”
And then, as happens sometimes, I felt in on the trick at the end of the story.
Age: Preschool-2nd grade


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