- Meaghan O'Brien
What is a bear’s favorite baseball team? Why the Cubs of course! In Grin and Bear It, by Leo Landry, Bear is becoming confident in telling his jokes on Woodland Stage in front of all his friends. The only foreseeable problem is that Bear suffers from stage fright. Whenever he tries to speak in front of people, his knees knock, his paws pause, his fur freezes while he stutters, barely being able to speak. Bear rehearses over and over again in front of his mirror while constantly writing new jokes. He feels ready.
When the big day arrives, Bear gets up on stage but he sadly fumbles over his jokes.
“What do little girl cubs wear in their hair?” he asks the crowd.
“What?” responds the crowd.
“SQUASH!” bear answers.
Bear is so upset over his disastrous performance that he throws away his sheet of jokes, vowing to never tell another joke.
However, a would-be-comedian hummingbird named Emmy finds the discarded sheet of jokes and hatches a plan to benefit both of them. Will Bear partner up with Emmy and agree to the plan?
Leo Landry’s Grin and Bear It is so chock full of jokes that newly-independent readers will not be able to put the book down. The text moves quickly which will help readers gain confidence in their reading skills. The narrative is divided into seven short chapters, accompanied by simple pencil-and-watercolor illustrations that help clarify and add depth to the story’s plot and cast of characters. The illustrations range from full-page to spot art and complement the text very well. Readers will cheer for Bear as he finds new avenues to reach his dreams. Landry imparts readers with a special message that through teamwork anything is possible.