PreSchool-American artist Wuanita Smith (1866-1959) drew a series of pictures featuring a group of animals and a teddy bear. This book is an original story inspired by Smith's work and illustrated in Halpern's own style. Buddy Bear and his companion Pink Kitty plan an outdoor party during which they will serve an "Extra Special Surprise Treat." As the bear mails invitations and shops for party goods, his backpack gets so crowded that Pink Kitty tumbles out. When the friends arrive and discover her absence, they search and find her before they have their party. A recipe for the treat is included. The illustrations' bright colors and flat perspective hold some appeal, but the story is amazingly dull. A small reproduction of a Smith drawing faces the title page, adding to the puzzle of why the book was produced and what its point might be.
Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
A work to be read to - and looked at by - the lap-sitting set, Buddy Bear falls into the category of a storybook/pacifier. The simple text is nestled inside wide, white margins on each left-hand page; the muted, nursery-friendly pictures fill each right-hand page. Reader and listener alike know that all will be well by story's end, even though Pink Kitty is briefly lost. Adult readers may find it difficult to stifle a yawn now and then but toddlers are practically guaranteed to be pleased as punch. Curiously, the text was improvised from a series of turn-of -the-century teddy-bear pictures in the Boston Museum's collection. No author credit is given, but the newly-minted illustrations by Shari Halpern are ingratiatingly sweet. -- From Parents' Choice®
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