Monday, July 16, 2007

BookSprouting Review: Can You See a Little Bear? By James Mayhew

Can You See a Little Bear? by James Mayhew

Illustrated by Jackie Morris

Reading level: Ages 3-6

Hardcover, 32 Pages

Published: September 2005

Estimated price: $16.95 USD

I am enraptured by the charm of the illustrations in Can You See a Little Bear? by James Mayfew. I know it’s easy to steal the show as an illustrator in books designed for very young children, but honestly, I could stare at these illustrations for hours just appreciating the colors and the fun details. The fantastical illustrations depict a carnivalesque/gypsy-like animal procession accompanied by minstrels and dancers. I know if I were still a child, I would have loved the thought of being able to ride a lion, or a polar bear, or even a dolphin! Inviting interaction, the reader is asked to find the cute polar bear baby on each page. My only concern is that younger children might be overwhelmed by the busyness of the artwork and therefore not be able to truly appreciate the fun. The text is made of simple rhyme, using basic adjectives to describe the colourful and exotic animals. Although the story doesn’t have a real purpose or a profound moral, it’s still a delightful book. After all, who goes to the carnival for morals? It’s purely a time for fun and whimsy!

1 comment:

The Ginger Darlings said...

Thanks for this, I think. Working in schools with children I have found that they have no problem with the complexity of the pictures other than that they try to climb in to the pages and can't.
As for morals, when I look at the adult morals in this world I think kids are probably better not learning from most of us!
The real purpose of the story is to engage parent and reader in conversation as they try to work out what is going on and look to find visual clues in the pictures. A celebration of fun and whimsy and soon to come out as a board book, small and cute, unlike me.
Oh, and Mayhew is spelt with an "h" not and "f".