Review Blog

Aug 23 2019

Noodle bear by Mark Gravas

cover image

Walker Books, 2019. ISBN: 9781760651022.
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Themes: Bears, Noodles, Food, Seasons, Friendship. One the first day of spring, Fox holds a party and invites all the other animals. But Bear does not come. Fox goes to his cave to see if he is alright and finds him snoring loudly, his cave littered with empty noodle bowls and packets. He has spent the whole winter bingeing on Noodle Knockout, a weird TV show, and eating noodles. He has eaten all the noodles he could find and now waking wants more. He searches but cannot find any and the other animals offer him their food. Each is rejected as being too crunchy or too flowery or too splintery. He cannot find anything to eat so decides to go to the city and become a contestant on the show where he can eat all the noodles he could wish for.
The digital illustrations will provoke laughter from the readers as they see the bear in his messy cave, watching TV incessantly, and rejecting the food from the other animals. Readers will recognise themselves in the bear, and empathise with his longing for noodles.
Of course, once in the city he is invited to be a contestant and wins easily, becoming a TV star with his own TV show. As good as this is, he begins to remember his friends in the forest and the good things they did together, and decides to return home. Once there he has enough noodles for everyone, and they find that they are just to their liking.
Fran Knight

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