The Bear's Water Picnic by John Yeoman and Quentin Blake

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The Bear's Water Picnic by John Yeoman and Quentin Blake

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath
Reviewed by Keith Dudhnath
Summary: An ideal book for a lazy summer's day. With a very gentle pace and Quentin Blake's wonderful illustrations, it's a great choice to relax with.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 40 Date: July 2010
Publisher: Andersen Press
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1849390040

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It's a gorgeous summer's day, so the pig, hen, squirrel, hedgehog and bear all head out on a raft for a picnic in the middle of the lake. They're disturbed by the awrk awrk of the frogs, so paddle off to a different part of the lake, but when they get stuck, they discover the benefits of working together and making new friends.

The Bear's Water Picnic is a great book to read on a sunny day. Sit under a shady tree - or even better, floating in the middle of a lake - pull out the book, have a sip on some homemade lemonade, and just take it easy as you flick through the pages. It's a slow and gentle book, perfect for just gently drifting through the day. It's slightly longer than the average picture book, making it ideal for those just learning to read for themselves. There's enough to the story to keep the older ones happy, but any younger siblings listening along won't feel left out, as the writing is clear, direct and with an accessible vocabulary.

Quentin Blake's illustrations are... well, illustrations by Quentin Blake. They're super as always, with their delightful pen and ink style that everyone knows and loves from all his work with Roald Dahl. You can't help but be enchanted by them, with their vibrancy and expressiveness. He could illustrate the phone book and I'd still love every moment of it. It's all too easy to take for granted how wonderful his work is, but it really is stunning.

The sedate pace of the story works well, but it does cut down on the number of times you'll want to re-read it. It's almost too gentle to jump out at you from your overcrowded bookshelves. You'll enjoy it those times that you do pick it up, but it won't necessarily be your first port of call. It's a tricky criticism - any more of a spark to the picnic and the whole tone of the book would be changed, but you can't help but feel if they had more to overcome than just a sandbank, it would become a firm favourite. It's still well-worth a look.

My thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.

Arthur and the Meanies by Jan Fearnley also features animals working together to find a solution that suits them all. Little Bear's Little Boat by Eve Bunting is an equally gentle tale of messing about in boats. Picnics crop up in Donkey's Busy Day by Natalie Russell and A Very Curious Bear by Tony Mitton and Paul Howard.

Buy The Bear's Water Picnic by John Yeoman and Quentin Blake at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Bear's Water Picnic by John Yeoman and Quentin Blake at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Bear's Water Picnic by John Yeoman and Quentin Blake at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Bear's Water Picnic by John Yeoman and Quentin Blake at Amazon.com.


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