BIG BLACK BEAR

Wong Herbert Yee

When you are up against the likes of Dr Seuss and Julia Donaldson, making a rhyming kid's book is high risk. Nevertheless, that's what keeps the steady pace in Big Black Bear, which is a delight to read. A naughty bear pushes his rude way into a house and starts demanding from the little girl who lives there.

Basically the story is about manners. What makes it highly enjoyable is that there is no preaching or condescending attitude towards the reader/little listener. A kid generally knows what being polite and amicable means and Yee acknowledges this by making the little girl in the book voice the disapproval. Mother bear comes in to finally put the bear in his place.

Not sure how the illustrations, which look remarkably like something from an Adobe program, were made, seeing the book was published over 20 years ago, prior to the everyday use of design programs...maybe old-school cut and paste, as in cutting out shapes and pasting them. Maybe they are simple poster paints. Or maybe prints as that is what the maker studied at uni.

 

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