Papa Bear has decided that trying to hibernate on top of a snowy roof will not work. He and Little Bear go in search of a warm place and end up in a shopping mall, packed with shoppers. Papa Bear promptly falls asleep among the teddy bears in the toy shop, but Little Bear is mistaken for a toy and is now palling around with a little human. Papa Bear awakes to discover he is alone. He spots Little Bear in a cab and follows him to the boatyard, where people are boarding for a holiday cruise. Finally, Papa Bear spots Little Bear on the beach but is swept into a masquerade party. As the sun sets, Papa Bear settles into sleep while Little Bear plays a lullaby.
This is one book too many for Papa Bear and Little Bear. First, the adventure is night as tightly woven as the other books in the series. The transitions are a bit more abrupt and without context. Second, the illustrations are exhausting. Finding Little Bear in the illustrations is part of the adventures, but this time, it was just not fun. That the reading level is nearly twice that of The Bear's Song (Book 1) might suggest that the intended audience is a little older than the previous books.
One suggestion would be to read the book through without your children first so that you can know where Little Bear should be found. This will help young readers enjoy the story without feeling overwhelmed or frustrated. I still highly recommend The Bear's Song and especially The Bear's Surprise, just not this one.
Readers who like funny stories (and plenty of side humor) and/or challenging seek-and-find illustrations will have a field day with this book.
The pages are quite busy, and Little Bear is a bit harder to find in this book than in others of the series. The pattern of being able to follow Little Bear or Papa Bear on a page does not work for The Bear's Se Escape and could be frustrating for young readers.
This is part of a picture book adventure featuring Baby Bear and Papa Bear.
There is a lot of activity happening on the pages. After you've read this once or a couple of times, open the book again and look at what else is on the page. Ask your reader what kind of stories they would create from the various scenes on the page.
9 and Up
8 and Up
Borrow. This is not as good as the others in the series.