________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 14. . . .December 4, 2015


The Very Noisy Bear.

Nick Bland.
Toronto, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2015.
24 pp., hardcover, $14.99.
ISBN 978-1-4431-4662-3.

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 2-6.

Review by Amber Allen.

***½ /4


“Excuse me!” said the bear

to the music making sheep.

“Your band is very noisy

and it’s time for me to sleep.”

”Now that you’re awake,”

said Sheep, “perhaps

you’d like to stay?

Have you ever tried the jungle drums?

They’re really fun to play.”


Readers will love the opportunity to return once more to the Jingle Jangle Jungle in Nick Bland’s newest book about the beloved brown bear. This time Bear starts out cranky again as his sleep is disturbed by a loud band of animals putting on a concert outside his cave. Rather than shut it down, the animals ask the bear to join the band - but finding an instrument for him to play proves challenging. He gets tangled in the guitar strings and gets out of breath before figuring out the trumpet, but there’s one piece of equipment he still has to try: the microphone! Once Bear finds his musical calling, the animals are able to put on an amazing show for the jungle crowd, and everyone is happy in the end.

     Here is another boisterous installment of Scholastic’s popular “Cranky Bear” series, and it definitely does not disappoint. On the surface, as with all of Bland’s books, it is a silly read-aloud story that keeps you laughing, but, deep within the pages, there are many lessons to be learned. Bear doesn’t allow his failures to dampen his musical spirit and jumps into each new instrument with excitement and fearlessness. The animals are incredibly compassionate and generous in sharing their things with bear as he attempts to find his calling. In the end, there is a way for everyone to include their talents in the show. It just takes a few tries to pinpoint bear’s gift of singing.

      There is something for new and old fans alike between the pages of The Very Noisy Bear. Each acrylic painted illustration depicts action and emotions, giving the patient child something to pore over, while the rhyme, rhythm, and onomatopoeia in the text are enough to pull in the attention of even the most distracted preschooler. “BOOM BANG CRASH!”

Highly Recommended.

Amber Allen is a librarian in Toronto, ON, with a passion for children’s literature and writing.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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