Everything in Owen's world is just peachy-till his parents bring home a bear named Gary-without even asking! Gary changes everything: he takes up way too much space and makes a mess of all of Owen's toys. Gary means well, though, and eventually Owen starts to see that there are some good things about having a bear in the family.
Because Gary is such an unusual addition to the family, this story will appeal to kids getting used to any kind of new family member, be it a baby, grandparent, pet, or even sharing with a friend. Refreshing humor, expressive illustrations, and characters full of personality make this warm, funny debut a book that will be treasured.
written by Max Kornell
"I had a mom and a dad and my own set of blocks," a redheaded boy reflects at the outset of Kornell's first picture book. "I had everything I needed." And then... no, it's not a new sibling that upsets the apple cart; it's a huge bear named Gary, who, according to the narrator's parents, makes the family "complete." But this is a displacement story with a twist: while Gary does cause all kinds of trouble (requiring constant parental attention, snoring, leaving caps off markers), the bear isn't a blithe or oblivious usurper; in fact, from his sad-sack eyes and hesitant posture, he looks seriously out of place. Could it be that Gary needs a friend? Portraying vulnerability without making one's characters look like whiners or wusses is no easy task, but Kornell succeeds. With a sadly matter-of-fact text and pictures composed of cutout images on painted backgrounds, he sets a sweetly plaintive mood that makes even the expected happy ending ("Maybe surprises are not so bad") quietly gratifying. It's not a flashy debut, but it's a promising one. from publisher weekly~