Thursday, February 20, 2020

Review - The Grizzly Itch

The Grizzly Itch
by Victoria Cassanell
Date: 2020
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

A funny and lighthearted story about friendship, sharing, and a deep love of nature and the joy it can bring.

The first picture book from outstanding talent, Victoria Cassanell, The Grizzly Itch is a hilarious tale about how helping people often yields unexpected and wonderful surprises. Perfect for teaching children how to navigate first friendships and to encourage them to respect and enjoy the natural world.

When Bear wakes up from his winter sleep, he discovers an itch. And not just any itch – an unBEARable Grizzly Itch. But when he gets to his favourite scratching tree, it suddenly crashes to the ground. It turns out Beaver likes trees too . . . Thankfully, Beaver knows lots of other trees, and promises to help Bear find a new one. But Bear's itch is getting more grizzly by the minute, and none of the trees Beaver show him are quite right. Maybe it's not a tree Bear needs, after all?

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is kind of a cute story. When Bear wakes up with a terrible itch, he heads to his favourite scratching tree to wait his turn. But then, before he can scratch his itch, Beaver comes along and gnaws down the tree! Feeling bad, Beaver tells Bear he'll help him find a new scratching tree. But none of the trees seem quite right at all. Will Bear's itch ever get scratched?

The illustrations are sweet and humorous. The writing is okay, but the grammar is a little loose. I'm also not clear on why Bear had to climb the tree over the river (other than to give him an excuse to fall out of it). But I like the overall themes of friendship, kindness, and problem-solving.

Overall, it's a fun little book. I'd probably recommend it to fairly young children, though, given the simplicity of the story.

Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan Children's Books for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3.17 out of 5

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