CM . . .
. Volume IX Number 3. . . . October 4, 2002
The Bear on the Bed is a risque, cautionary tale about a little girl's unexpected, summertime encounter with a carefree, fun-loving bear who waltzes into her cabin and settles himself comfortably on her bed for a snooze. In lilting rhymes - hilariously extended in the acrylics illustrations by Bill Slavin - the reader dances from page to page imagining the outrageous antics in which a bear at summer camp could have or should have participated. But this is not how this high-spirited bear chooses to entertain himself. Instead, he bedevils the little girl as she peers in the window and catches him plucking his banjo, dancing, jumping, and bouncing on her bed. And then, as if it is not bad enough that he swings from the cabin's rafters, this naughty, old bear has to go and leave behind a gross, calling card typical of a real bear in the woods. Foul! Disgusting! Giggling kids will love predicting and confirming what the bear has done on the little girl's camp bed, as their wide-open eyes follow her unflinching march to the cabin door, protected by a gas mask and rubber flippers and armed with a shovel and scrub brush. The story will appeal to the toilet humour fascination of young children.
Wayne Serebrin teaches Language and Literacy in the Faculty of Education, the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB.
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