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Grin and Bear It


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Bear dreams of becoming a comedian. His jokes are unbearably funny, and he wants nothing more than to make his friends laugh. But Bear has a problem. He has stage fright. When Emmy, the comic hummingbird, discovers Bear's jokes, Bear learns that there's more than one way to achieve your dream. Told in seven short chapters.


Gr 1-3-All that Bear wants is to make his friends laugh. He decides that he will do a stand-up routine on the local stage. He practices every morning in front of the mirror and finally gains the confidence to book a performance. The only problem is that Bear has stage fright. He ends up feeling humiliated and runs away, only to encounter a little hummingbird that can make his dream come true. The story is divided into seven chapters and has a lot of words on each page. Even fans of Jennifer Jacobson's "Andy Shane" books (Candlewick) or Erica Silverman's "Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa" (Harcourt) may struggle with the text. The concept of having stage fright is something that a lot of children will be able to relate to, but few will be able to solve their problems the way Bear does. The jokes are groaners, similar to the kind you'd find on Popsicle sticks or taffy wrappers, and it's hard to imagine anyone finding them amusing or clever. The illustrations, done in watercolors, are vibrant but not outstanding. Few children will pick this one up for repeated readings.-Lora Van Marel, Orland Park Public Library, IL (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

"Everyone--Bear, friends and readers--will laugh in the end."
--Kirkus Reviews

"Kids will appreciate the funny scenarios that reflect their own language mix-ups as well as the warm camaraderie among the animal friends."
--School Library Journal

"A honey of a book."
--The Horn Book Magazine

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