Yancy & Bear

by Hazel Hutchins, Ruth Ohi,
24 pages,
ISBN: 1550375024

Post Your Opinion
Children`s Books
by Silvana Bartlett

Children often have a rich emotional life invested in their dolls and stuffed toys, for whom they are not just playthings but love-objects. Having these toys come to life is a common-almost too common-plot device in picture-books, but Yancy & Bear is a pleasant handling of a familiar theme. The finely detailed and richly coloured drawings capture both the busyness of modern life and the warmth of home.

Yancy is a little boy (but ambiguous enough that he could be a girl too) who switches clothing with his teddy bear, causing the two to change places for the day. Yancy is reduced to a blank-eyed, painted-nose stuffed version of himself and, now merely an observer, learns a lot about his Bear's real nature. To Yancy's delight, Bear turns out to be mischievous, intrepid, and utterly fearless, and he thoroughly enjoys his new freedom as the story-line follows the rhythms of the day: breakfast, playtime while Grandfather does the chores, then shopping, an impromptu picnic in the park, antics in the backyard, and finally bed. Bear plays the dominant role, and Yancy is the plaything, but Bear shows that he loves and can care for Yancy as much as Yancy loves and cares for him. At the end of the story, Bear is totally exhausted by all the activity and glad to change back into his own clothes. He now sleeps instantly but Yancy promises they'll repeat their adventure on his next birthday.

Annick's books can usually be counted on to slide in a reference to good liberal values; in this case the caregivers are Mother and Grandfather, rather than Mother and Father, so that children can learn obliquely that Not All Families Are The Same.

Silvana DiFonzo Bartlett and her husband both have a rich emotional life invested in their teddy bears. Their children do not.


Home First Novel Award Past Winners Subscription Back Issues Timescroll Advertizing Rates
Amazon.ca/Books in Canada Bestsellers List Books in Issue Books in Department About Us