Bob the Bursting Bear by Michael Rosen and Tony Ross
|Bob the Bursting Bear by Michael Rosen and Tony Ross|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Ruth Ng|
|Summary: Utterly silly...utterly wonderful!|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: August 2013|
|External links: Author's website|
I knew from the title this would be a good book. All that alliteration couldn't be for nothing, surely? Then I saw the cover, with a delightful bear wearing round wire-rimmed glasses and an oversized bowtie. 'Better and better,' I thought to myself. And you'll be relieved to hear that the story does not disappoint. This is one of my favourite books this year, and I have read it repeatedly with both my six year old and my one year old, both of whom enjoy it in different ways!
Bob, as you can tell, is a bear. When we first meet him he is at Toy School, learning how to be a good toy. The toys are instructed that they must be fit, they must be clever, and they must be cuddly, and we see all the toys practising all these different things. Once they're sufficiently trained they're sent off into the big, wide world. Unfortunately, Bob's new home is very noisy and busy, and although he does his best to fulfil his role, no-one seems to notice that he is there. When all his efforts fail he tries some other things, like making a noise, and falling over, but still nothing gets their attention.
Suddenly Bob remembers something he once read at Toy School and he decides to try it. He starts to make himself bigger, and bigger, and bigger, and bigger! Until all of a sudden he bursts with a bang! Everyone notices that! They all laugh and laugh, and then afterwards they collect up the bits of Bob, sew them back together, more or less, and then 'again' shouts the little girl Bob belongs to! Now not only does everyone notice Bob but they all want him and love him, Bob the bursting bear!
I can see, writing out the plot for you, that it sounds a little macabre! But sometimes the best children's stories are a little dark. And this one, because of its surprising nature, is very funny! I hadn't quite known what to expect, in spite of the title, and we all laughed together as we read what happened to poor old Bob! It's a simple, funny story that's told very well, and of course with Tony Ross' wonderful illustrations you know you're onto a winner. Somehow the picture of Bob, lying in pieces scattered on the floor, manages to be funny rather than disturbing! Poor old Bob - he's a sweet little bear. Along with his bowtie he has matching trousers with braces and a cute, pointy nose. I like all the pictures from his time at Toy School. The teacher is another bear (Mr Ted) who looks very cuddly, all plump and furry, and there's a funny looking donkey and a soldier and a clockwork mouse.
You get free reign, when reading aloud to children, to be as noisy as you like, and this is one of those stories that allows for a good big shout when Bob BURSTS with a BANG! I think it would go down rather well being read aloud to a nursery or playgroup. And it's silly enough to get everyone giggling along together. My one year old hasn't the patience for the beginning, but he enjoys the bursting parts. My six year old loved it all the way through, and has sat and read it to herself since as well. She likes to comment about how initially Bob is sewn back together, and sewn wrongly at that, with his arms on his head and his ears where his arms should be! But then later on it seems he magically goes back to himself properly. We suspect that this is because he gets better at the bursting, and that secretly he knows a way to put himself back together correctly. However you interpret it, it's a lovely read and one I'd heartily recommend!
For more silliness from this same author/illustrator pairing try Fluff the Farting Fish by Michael Rosen and Tony Ross
You can read more book reviews or buy Bob the Bursting Bear by Michael Rosen and Tony Ross at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Bob the Bursting Bear by Michael Rosen and Tony Ross at Amazon.com.
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