Review Blog

Dec 17 2019

The very super bear by Nick Bland

cover image

Scholastic, 2019. ISBN: 9781743831267.
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Bears, Verse, Humour, Problem solving, Environment. When Bear finds a cape on the ground, he swings it onto his shoulders, swishing it here and there, when a voice from on high asks him to fly up and help.
In lovely rhyming verses, the tale of the bear and his cape unfolds, him insisting that he may have a cape but he is not a super bear, and cannot fly like super heroes. But each time he is asked for assistance, he tries somehow to help. His first request is an elephant stuck high up on a palm tree. Not able to fly up to help, Bear climbs the tree, helping to rescue the elephant. But when the elephant gets off he leaves the palm like a giant spring which flings Bear into the air. He flies alongside a goose (Bruce) who call for his help because a monster is gobbling up the trees in their forest, and even though Bear insists again that he is not that sort of bear, he tries to help. He does indeed find a monster ripping up the trees and concocts a very funny solution to the problem, using his cape, the flowers and the bees.
The acrylic illustrations are just delightful: the look on Bear's face telling of his exasperation in not being able to convince the other animals that he really cannot fly is memorable, while the antics the Bear performs when donning his cape or throwing the flowers are so full of movement many readers will get up and try it out for themselves. Readers will laugh out loud at the animals' attempts to rid their forest of the invader, and think about the destruction that deprives these animals of their habitats. The verses, so wonderful to read aloud, will entice children to call out the rhyming word each time a second line is read, and they will ask for the story to be read and read again.
Fran Knight

BUY IT ON booktopia
Archived Blog Entries