The Very Cranky Bear

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The Very Cranky Bear - Nick Bland

Ever since Nick Bland’s The Very Cranky Bear came in to My Book Corner, it has been one of the most requested picture book stories. Why? It is pure fun!

When four friends – moose, lion, zebra and sheep take shelter in a cave, they accidentally disturb the very cranky bear


… so they decide to dress him up in order to cheer him up! Taking themselves as the starting point, they discuss stripes, antlers, manes … but as sheep is,

“well, Sheep was plain.”

.. he gets left out of the discussion. No prizes for guessing who saves the day!

Humour? The Very Cranky Bear is full of great text and illustrations that will bring about huge smiles – the scene where cranky bear emerges from the cave in his new outfit? Classic! With bold, eye popping illustrations this one is perfect for capturing the attention of a younger audience.

The rhythm and rhyme to this are perfect for a read aloud story. Nick’s use of water based acrylics have created five fantastic characters who are distinctive and fun. Both the dialogue and illustrations convey each of them very successfully. My favourite page? When lion is talking to sheep – it’s just the two of them on a double page. A plain background artfully draws the eyes towards each character. The lion’s sense of self importance is etched in to his facial expression. The placement of sheep in the far corner … looking, well sheepish … his eyes alone convey his feelings – what a wonderful starting point for a quick discussion. The Very Cranky Bear even has his own Facebook page, and check out these teacher notes from Scholastic.

The Very Cranky Bear is the chosen picture book for the National Story Time 2012, check out this page for more information and many great Cranky Bear activities.


Read our Book Week interview with Nick Bland.

Also in this series:

The Very Itchy Bear

The Very Hungry Bear


Nick Bland
Nick Bland

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