Where is Bear? by Jonathan Bentley

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
ISBN 9781760122911

The Little Crooked House, by Margaret Wild & Jonathan Bentley

You know the rhyme. There was a crooked man…He bought a crooked cat, which found a crooked mouse. And they all lived together in a little crooked house.But the crooked house is too close to a train line and every time a train goes by, the whole house shakes. So the crooked man and the crooked cat and the crooked mouse and even the crooked house all move to a better place – a desert where there are no trains. But the desert isn’t the right place for them either, and soon they are on the move again.

This reworking of a traditional rhyme is full of the humour and joy that can be expected from author Margaret Wild. The whimsy of the storyline is perfectly complemented by that of the watercolour illustrations by artist Jonathan Bentley.

Youngsters will love the silliness of a house which can move from place to place, the detail of the illustrations and the repeated refrain of “Yippee-yi-yay!” which they’ll be joining in with by the end of the first reading.

First released in hard cover in 2005, this title has now been released in a paper back edition.

Lots of fun.

The Little Crooked House
The Little Crooked House, by Margaret Wild and Jonathan Bentley
This edition ABC Books, 2006

This book can be purchased online at Fishpond.

Dorothy the Dinosaur Let's Party and Goes Camping

Every child loves the Wiggles, and these two newly released board book editions are sure to please every Wiggles fan.

In Dorothy the Dinosaur Let’s party, Dorothy and her friends Wags the Dog, Henry the Octopus and Captain Feathersword are busily preparing for a party to celebrate the tenth birthday of Wiggles Bay. Just like every year, there will be a surprise guest, but none of the friends can guess who it will be, until toot, toot, toot – could the surprise guest be the Wiggles?

In Dorothy the Dinosaur Goes Camping Dorothy invites her friends to camp for the night in her back garden. But when bedtime comes, the friends have trouble sleeping – they seem to be having one another’s dreams.

With illustrations by Jonathan Bentley and in durable board back format, this duo is ideal as first books for babies and toddlers.

Dorothy the Dinosaur Goes Camping and Dorothy the Dinosaur Let’s Party, illustrated by Jonathan Bentley
This edition ABC Books, 2006

Mr Moo, by Margaret Wild

Mr Moo has a nice house and good neighbours. Mostly, he’s content, but sometimes he wishes for a special friend to share things with. Then along comes Jimmy Johnson, who is off to see the world. When he takes Mr Moo’s unfinished row boat for a row and it sinks, however, he changes his plans. He will stay and help Mr Moo fix the boat.

Mr Moo takes Jimmy home to stay and soon the pair have the kind of special bond that Mr Moo has dreamed off.

Mr Moo is a bright picture book combining the writing talents of the renowned Margaret Wild with the illustrative skills of Jonathan Bentley. Published in a hardback edition in 2002, it has just been released in paperback format.

Kids will love the anthropomorphic Mr Moo (a cow) and Jimmy (who is a duck) as well as the minor characters and bright surrounds of Mr Moo’s home. They will also like the uncomplicated story – perfect for the littlies.

Mr Moo, by Margaret Wild and Jonathan Bentley
ABC 2004, first published 2002

Dorothy the Dinosaur and the Magic Shell

Reviewed by Tash Hughes

Dorothy the Dinosaur wakes up one morning feeling down in the dumps for no clear reason. Wags the Dog, Captain Feathersword and Henry the Octopus do their best to cheer her up by taking her to the beach. Still unhappy, Dorothy walks along the beach and finds a most unusual shell.

When Dorothy blows the horn, it has a magical effect on her friends; they stand on their heads, somersault and make animal noises and can’t stop!

Finally, Dorothy is happy and laughs at her friends’ antics so much she can’t blow the shell again for some time. Eventually, a blow of the shell frees her friends and they return to normal behaviour. Dorothy throws the shell into the ocean before playing with her friends and building the captain a sand ship.

The book has clear illustrations of the Wiggles characters and will delight all young children. The text is simple and short for preschoolers, but interesting enough to captivate early readers, too. The book shows children it’s ok to feel down sometimes, but it’s more fun to be with friends and laugh! A fun read from the Wiggles.

Dorothy the Dinosaur and the Magic Shell, The Wiggles, Illustrated by Jonathon Bentley
ABC Books, 1999