The Very Cranky Bear, by Nick Bland

In the Jingle Jangle Jungle on a cold and rainy day
four little friends found a perfect place to play…
None of them had noticed that someone else was there.
Sleeping in that cave was a very cranky BEAR!

When Moose, Lion, Zebra and Sheep take refuge from the rain in a nice warm cave, they don’t expect to meet a cranky bear. Soon, they are out in the rain again, and must try to find a way to placate Bear if they are to get back inside the cave. Lion, Zebra and Moose all think Bear will be happier if he looks more like them, but Sheep, who is very plain, is not so sure. And it is Sheep who, eventually, finds a solution to Bear’s crankiness and a warm place for the four friends to shelter.

The Very Cranky Bear is a funny picture book with rhyming text and humorous illustrations. Author/illustrator Bland manages to blend dark and light so that the fearsome bear and his dark cave are lightened by both bright touches and cute facial expressions. The Bear, whilst described as cranky, manages to look, at times, just like a grumpy toddler. The rhyming text flows from page to page with a lively rhythm and plenty of clues for youngsters to guess at rhyming words.

Lots of fun, The Very Cranky Bear is a great read-aloud offering.

The Very Cranky Bear

The Very Cranky Bear, by Nick Bland
Scholastic Australia, 2008

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