A Beginner’s Guide to Bear Spotting by Michelle Robinson, illustrated by David Roberts [in Booklist]
Going for a walk in “bear country” could be very dangerous business, unless you heed the wise advice of this intrepid child, whose well-stocked, oversize backpack contains all the many things necessary to negotiate potential sightings.
When confronted by a black or brown bear, pepper spray will only make them hungry, blowing pink bubbles won’t accomplish anything, and reading Goldilocks will “NEVER do.” So when all else fails, try sharing your soft blue teddy – it just might calm the savage beast.
Michelle Robinson’s chatty, conspiratorial style addresses the reader directly with instructions, suggestions, warnings, and more, while variable font sizes throughout nimbly add dramatic urgency. David Roberts enhances the text with whimsy (the “serious” bear-specimen illustrations are drawn on a scientific grid, though turned-up corners reveal playful interruptions) and amusing details (including voyeuristic squirrels who can chew gum). The British duo’s clever creation travels well across the pond and will produce plenty of raucous laughter.