Thursday, July 31, 2008
From the moment I saw this cover, I was mesmerized.
Two children trudge up a hill and plant some seeds. The girl plants watermelon, and the boy seemingly plants top hats.
As they sleep beside the garden, something magical happens. The top hat seeds thrust up a twisted vine that is topped with gorgeous orange flowers. Out from an orange flower climbs a polar bear wearing a top hat.
From that top hat wondrous things emerge for the children with which to play. Monkeys with fuzzy arms and legs. Lion shaped bubbles. Breezes filled with sea creatures.
After the adventure, the children are put back to bed, the wonders go back into the hat, and though the vine stays, the bear and his hat do not.
Was it a dream?
Wordless, wonderful an absolutely beautiful, Wonder Bear was apparently inspired by a gummi bear. Tao Nyeu is certainly a gifted artist with a real sense of story. Under the dust jacket are pre-printed covers featuring our monkey friends and wonder bear himself (herself?). I am not a student of design, but I do know when folks get it right. Wonder Bear begs readers to go back time and time again to discover new wonders.