Marilyn MacGregor Helen the Hungry Bear

ISBN 13: 9780027619508

Helen the Hungry Bear

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9780027619508: Helen the Hungry Bear
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Helen's tendency to turn into a growling bear whenever she is hungry leads to a startling confrontation when she and her family go on a picnic

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From School Library Journal:

PreSchool-Grade 2 Helen is an ordinarily sweet little girl who turns into a slobbering, growling bear whenever she is hungry. At first this embarrasses her family, but they learn to cope by always keeping nutritious snacks on hand in case Helen gets the munchies. One fine day they go on a family picnic; Helen runs off to retrieve a toy, and a real bear appears. Thinking it is Helen, the family nonchalantly looks on while the bear destroys their lunch. Just then, Helen (in bear form) emerges from the woods, gives the real bear a dressing-down, and learns a thing or two herself about table manners. Because Helen wears very distinctive outfits, both in bear and human form, it isn't credible that her family would confuse her with the real bear, who wears an entirely different outfit. In addition, it's unfortunate that Helen's family submits to her behavior, rather than correct it, although in doing so, the point (and some of the fun) of the story would be removed. Kathleen Brachmann, Highland Park Public Library, Ill.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

"From the very beginning, Helen's mother knew that Helen was a Hungry Bear." Most of the time, Helen is a "sweet little girl," but when she is hungry she becomesliterallya bear. This changes, however, at a picnic, when her family mistakes a real bear for Helen. She is so shocked by the real bear's behavior that she permanently changes into a little girlwhereupon the whole family goes to a snack bar to gorge on junk food. MacGregor's pastel drawings are sweetly rendered, but her story is a little peculiar. On the one hand, the idea of a little girl who turns into a bear is cute, but the book's overall message about food and eating is not so cute. Helen's eating habits as well as those of the real bear are portrayed as vulgar, whereas her family's eating binge represents the soul of family harmony. In an age when healthful eating is a concern of most parents, this book seems a bit unenlightened. Ages 4-7.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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