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Baynton, Terri Rose: Mr Bear Branches and the Cloud Conundrum.

@ [dagger][dagger] BAYNTON, Terri Rose Mr Bear Branches and the Cloud Conundrum ABC, 2012 unpaged $24.99 ISBN 9780733329210 SCIS 1543163

'Mr Bear Branches and Lintfree Longfellow were the very best of friends'. Every day these endearing cartoon characters, with their sticklike legs and well-padded tummies, strolled through the countryside, Bear in earnest discourse on intellectual topics while young Lintfree chased pigeons. Their favourite pastime, however, was cloud-watching. Lintfree's declared ambition to sit among the clouds, as they looked so comfortable, elicited a disappointing dissertation from Bear on the water cycle, causing the little rabbit to become despondent.

Disquieted by the little chap's low spirits, Bear set out to satisfy his desires. Later in the day, they set off again, out of town and up the hills until they reached a spot to sit, relax and enjoy the view. What was all around them? 'Beautiful buoyant clouds', soft and cottony as far as they could see. Breathless with delight, all Lintfree could say was 'Oh my' and 'Thank you, Bear'.

Baynton's most attractive line-drawings employ a subtle palette of red and brown on beautiful cream paper. The text, with its smooth, even flow reads aloud beautifully. It's sophisticated vocabulary will need some clarification for younger children, but introduces a lot of lovely long words to savour. A beautifully produced book with a charming story of friendship, understanding and consideration, and a mood of gentleness and delicate humour. Highly recommended ages 4+.

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Author:Steward, Joy
Publication:Reading Time
Article Type:Book review
Date:May 1, 2013
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