An adorable baking bear is the protagonist in this illustrated version of the classic nursery rhyme of the same name, who can be distinguished throughout the book not only by his cinnamon-colored visage, but also by a slight texture change with an extra sheen that gives this book a level of, perhaps unexpected, polish. As the baking bear scurries about in a kitchen so spacious (no two backgrounds are the same!) as to induce envy in even celebrity chefs, little readers will have a multitude of opportunities to be introduced to a host of cooking implements (if their accompanying readers can supply the terminology) and accessories. While realism has never been a requirement of children’s literature, the lack of continuity between the illustrations and the text may cause some confusion as the bear stirs in a bowl to the instructions of “pat it” and joyfully carries a fully iced cake as one reads “put it in the oven”, and hamper the reading for curious or informed readers. When all is said and done, the illustrations set the right tone with their bright colors and playful feel, and this book gets all the benefit of happy familiarity that comes from using a familiar nursery rhyme, but its readers are unlikely to feel as joyful as the baking bear himself.
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