Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Once upon a time there was a story.
This story was a lovely story with absolutely no bears in it--
not a single bear anywhere. Then one day...
What? Who said that? The author of the story looked around the room, wondering where those voices had come from. Were those the voices of children shouting? Then he went back to writing.
As I was saying, this story had absolutely no bears at all. The author was very certain about this.
The author tried very, very hard to ignore the children who thought that the story ought to have...
I liked this one. I did. I thought it was funny. A bit quirky--perhaps--but good fun, in my opinion, very playful. I think it would make a good read aloud.
The author begins KNOWING that his story has NO BEARS in it. Yet the voices persist. Children begging for a story with MORE BEARS. How many bears will he add to his story with "no bears?" How many bears are enough bears to satisfy his audience? Who is in charge of the story anyway?
I liked the repetition--the repetitive demands for MORE BEARS. I liked the simplicity of the concept yet the detail in the bears he adds to the story. For example, there's "Bobcat Sam, the bear who rode a pony, and Admiral Haversham, the English dancing bear, and Excellent Steve, the bear who just wanted to surf."
© Becky Laney of Young Readers