Where is Bear?
Where could Bear be?
A young boy is ready for bed, but cannot find his bear anywhere. He searches first the bedroom, then the rest of the house, and even outside. The reader can see what he apparently can’t – a huge reddish brown bear that shadows him everywhere. Finally, in desperation, the boy asks the reader Have you seen Bear? But, though an answer from the reader might be forthcoming, the surprise is that boy looks around and finds, not the big bear, but a teddy bear peeking out from a rug in the bedroom. The boy then presents it to the big bear and, together, the pair go to bed.
This humorous, clever picture book will draw the young reader in, and encourage them to interact. The apparent humour of the boy seemingly unable to see the huge bear who follows him everywhere, coupled with the twist at the end, makes for lots of child engagement and laughter. Bentley’s colourful pencil and watercolour illustrations fill each spread, and allow for minimal text.
Where is Bear? By Jonathan Bentley
Little Hare, 2016
There is a town in the mountains not far from here where people lock their pianos on the night of the full moon. It makes no difference – the keys move up and down and the air is filled with wild music.
Someone once thought they saw a white bird flying between the trees. But the truth of the matter is that it’s not a bird that flies on the night of the full moon but a pair of white gloves. I know this because they used to belong to me.
KidGlovz is a child prodigy. He can play the piano better than anybody – even playing different symphonies with each hand. And he loves to play. Music is his life. But when he’s not playing, he is kept under lock and key by his cruel guardian, Dr Spin, who tells the world the boy is his nephew. KidGlovz is made to practice endlessly, and is almost starved to prevent him growing bigger. When he meets a young thief called Shoestring, it seems escape might be possible. But at what cost?
KidGlovz is a haunting graphic novel. In parts uplifting, but often quite dark, readers will be drawn into both the text and the grey-scale illustrations. Spreads are a mixture of comic-style cells, wordless single or multiple image spreads and spreads which are predominantly illustrations with a mix of narration and speech bubbles., as well as a handful of letters and notes. Use of light and dark, layout of text, and movement within illustrations draws the readers eye through the story.
Suitable for primary aged through to adult, KidGlovz will appeal to those already familiar with the graphic novel format as well as those perhaps new to it.
KidGlovz, by Julie Hunt & Dale Newman
Allen & Unwin, 2015