Wednesday 7 September 2016

Don't Call Me Bear!

Don't Call Me Bear! By Aaron Blabey (Scholastic Press)
HB RRP $16.99
ISBN 97 1 76015 984 9

Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

Don't Call Me Bear! is a new picture book from prolific, popular and wildly funny author Aaron Blabey. Using dry humor and a wonderfully sarcastic and grumpy tone, this story explores the question as to why koalas are constantly referred to as bears when they are, in actual fact, a marsupial.

Kangaroos are kangaroos.
You don't call emus 'chooks'.
A platypus is not a duck,
Even though that's how he looks.

Warren the Koala Bear takes the reader on a journey around the world - pointing out all the bears he is not, and then introduces the reader to other Australian marsupials who are respectfully called by their correct title. So, why, he asks (perhaps not so very politely), is he still called a bear?
The other marsupials may have hit on the right answer at the end of the story.

The rhythm and rhyme of this picture book are great for reading aloud and the font changes in the text help direct the emotion and tone of the story.

Blabey's pictures are just as entertaining as his words. Expressive faces and body language enhance the dry humour of the story. The illustrations are bold and bright, with colour filling the whole page, the text appearing in speech bubbles, or on signs as part of the illustration.

This picture book is sure to tickle the funny-bones of children from three years of age and will also amuse any older readers who are lucky enough to have a child hand them this book asking, 'Can you read me this, please?'

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