I Am Bear

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I Am Bear
Ben Bailey Smith and Sav Akyüz
Walker Books
Our initial introduction to the ursine narrator of this wonderfully anarchic offering from the pen of actor and rapper Doc Brown (aka Ben Bailey Smith) shows him as a bare pink-skinned character who, having turned his bum on squirrel,

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lumbers off to don a purple onesie and adopt a confrontational stance.
We next see Bear in the process of consuming his favourite nosh while continuing with his narration thus …

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After which he discards his protective gear before going on to play a knock! knock! joke on a red squirrel, though only one animal finds that at all funny.
Next comes a spot of magic: first off fishing with a wand, followed by a vanishing act and further fun and games, Bear’s favourite being “Cops and robbers.”

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Seems he’s managed to set up another squirrel here.
It looks like this Bear is a dab hand when it comes to wielding a paintbrush too, and who can blame him for beating a rather hasty retreat …

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Delivered as it is with a superb verbal economy, this riotous rapping rhyme of a picture book is perfect for beginning readers as well as for reading aloud.
Storyboard artist Sav Akyüz’s rendering of Bear and the other characters is suitably upbeat and perfectly in-keeping with the playful text and almost gives the impression the visuals have been created with spray cans or daubed with house painting brushes.
Published under the Walker Entertainment imprint, there’s assuredly plenty to entertain herein but equally there are a whole lot of inbuilt literacy lessons too.

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