A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Readers and listeners can pore over the illustrations searching for Papa Bear and Little Bear as well as figuring out what's happening in complex illustrated scenes, from an elaborate department store to the city, a train station, a cruise ship, and a jungle.
There's great affection between the two bears. No adventure is more important than being together.
Positive Role Models
Papa Bear never gives up, going far across the sea to search for the lost Little Bear. Near the end, Little Bear trumpets a lullaby that Papa Bear will love, drawing him to the warm place he's found for the two of them to hibernate.
Violence & Scariness
Being lost could be scary, but Little Bear seems to be having quite an adventure.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that French author-illustrator Benjamin Chaud's The Bear's Sea Escape (a translation of Coquillages et Petit Ours, published in France in 2012) follows his acclaimed The Bear's Song. As in the first book, Papa Bear gets spearated from Little Bear and journeys far and wide -- this time even underwater -- to find him. While this fantasy adventure is not quite as engaging as its predecessor, the richly detailed illustrations are still delightful.
Is It Any Good?
In THE BEAR'S SEA ESCAPE Benjamin Chaud's inimitable illustrations are fanciful and extraordinarily rich in detail. However, the the content is not as smoothly plotted nor the text as smoothly written as in The Bear's Song. Nor does it have the same sweet appeal. Although the message of affection between the two bears is clear, and it's obviously a fantasy, questions are raised that strain credibility. How does a boy walk off with a live bear in a busy department store and confuse it with a toy? How can Papa Bear swim in the sea underwater? Although Little Bear presumably wants a place to hibernate, he also pursues an international adventure without a thought for his worried Papa until he finally summons him with a tune.
While the story is not as well done as is The Bear's Song, the illustrations are equally vibrant and delightful.
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