Picture books about bears are everywhere -- I have a hard time believing many kids get out of the picture book stage without exposure to at least 4 of them (and that's before they're at the Pooh or Paddington stage). But how many of those bears have been bearded?
Enter Jeremy Billups and his little book.
This is the story of a little red-haired girl (no, not <a href="http://peanuts.wikia.com/wiki/Little_Red-Haired_Girl" target="_blank">that one</a>) traveling the world with her bearded bear, having all sorts of adventures and meeting a bunch of different animals. There really isn't a lesson, moral or much of a plot -- just a bunch of quick looks at the pair. A few quick lines and a picture on each pair of pages.
The art is simple and arresting. They just pop off the page -- this is one of those times I wish I had the necessary vocabulary to describe why I like the drawings, but I don't. I bought a print of what turns ot to be page 16 before I even picked up the book to flip through. I've bought a handful of prints this year, and it's my absolute favorite -- I like it even more now that I've read the book. Also, If you ever see a better picture of someone making buffalo wings, I'll eat my hat.
Oh, and the endorsements on the back cover are a lot of fun. If that doesn't convince you to try it out, I can't imagine what will.
Great art, cute story, fun rhymes -- everything you want in a picture book. Even better -- animals with beards are the best animals that aren't dogs. This is a charming little book that's sure to please.