Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Heart-y Reading: Bear Hugs by Karma Wilson


"Remember me forever," he said.
"Remember the love we shared.
Remember the way we danced, trunk to trunk.
Remember how much that I cared."

"Always remember our time spent together,
From the first day that we met!"
"I will," she replied. "Don't you remember?
Elephants never forget!"

Karma Wilson, author of the popular series which began with the best-selling Bear Snores On, knows a thing or two about bears, and in her latest, Bear Hugs: Romantically Ridiculous Animal Rhymes (Margaret K. Elderry/Simon and Schuster, 2009), she not only gives us bears in love, but elephants, turtles, pigs, and other romantically inclined critters in this humorous salute to that loving feeling. Wilson's jaunty rhymes are sprinkled with puns and other delicious wordplay which set off her serio-comic tone perfectly:


"Don't keep me hanging in the air.
I have a tree that we can share.
I'll go bananas if you don't care!"

Suzanne Watts' bright illustrations appropriately echo the mood of the comic Valentine to a T: In "Love-a-Bull," her Lola courts bulldog Spike with flirty eyes as she tells him truly "You drool a bit (okay, a LOT)! Those are some teeth you've got!" And who can resist the pun in the poem "Moosetake," in which an apparent pheromone failure results in a moose falling in love with a curvaceous milk cow? With rhymes as sweet and snappy as candy hearts on February 14, kids will love Wilson's playful language and Watts' romanticizing critters, all in good fun for Valentine's Day or for anytime you need a heart-ful verse.

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