Bear is a rambling musician. An entertainer. A legend. One Bear Extraordinaire.
Bear wakes up one morning with a song in his head, but something is missing. What’s a one-bear band to do? He travels the forest in search of his song and meets a few other musicians along the way, but even with their help, his song still feels incomplete. Will Bear find the perfect accompaniment and learn that every song sounds sweeter with friends by his side?
Jayme McGowan brings Bear and his merry band to life with intricate and innovative threedimensional cut-paper art that is nothing short of extraordinary.
With a backpack stuffed with musical instruments, "Bear was a rambling musician. An entertainer. A legend." In McGowan's debut, he learns that being part of a band is even more rewarding than life as a solo artist. As Bear travels the forest, he befriends banjo-strumming Fox, accordion-wielding Raccoon, and others. No Bremen Town Musicians, these animals make great music together, and a small hiccup Wolf Pup doesn't seem to have a knack for any instrument is quickly resolved when he makes his vocal talents known. McGowan's writing has a pleasing musical lilt ("And so they trekked and they tramped, on and on, into the valley, where they heard a fiddle on the wind"), but it's her artwork that really stands out. Creating carefully assembled three-dimensional scenes from hand-painted cut-paper elements, McGowan's layered images have a rusticity that's in keeping with her itinerant musicians' free-spirited mind-set (the accordion folds of Raccoon's accordion are an especially charming touch). It's a fine choice for those whose preferred song is that of the open road. Ages 4 8.