On Our Shelves Now
"Let's scare bear!" says the tiny mouse. But the pint-size bully's plan backfires in this riff on a Japanese folktale.
An ALA Notable Children's Book
Mouse, Fox, Spider, and Snake all want to scare Bear. But Bear is the bravest animal in the forest--nothing scares Bear.
Except, maybe, one thing.
Bear says that he's scared of manju cakes. Armed with that knowledge, the animals hatch a plan to scare Bear with manju cakes. . . . lots and lots of them. . . . only to learn that the only scary thing is how much Bear loves to eat them!
Yuko Katakawa's bright art is full of detail and humor, from Snake's bow and glasses to Spider's web-spun comments on their ill-fated tricks. Based on "Scary Manju," a tale in the Japanese oral tradition known as rakugo, Let's Scare Bear is a trickster tale that reminds us that bullies come in all shapes and sizes--and that when we share instead, everyone wins.
About the Author
Yuko Katakawa is a Japanese-born illustrator who studied art at an early age then later focused on Japanese Classic Literature in college. After she moved to the U.S., her love for art and words led her to picture book illustration. Yuko likes to create her artwork rapidly and instinctively using digital tools. Yuko lives in New York City. Let's Scare Bear is her debut picture book.
"A fun twist on a tale from Japanese oral storytelling tradition, great for reading aloud."—Kirkus Reviews
"Katakawa makes great use of perspective and movement, encouraging page turns and effectively drawing the eye. . . . the arresting visuals and nicely cadenced text make this an excellent candidate for storytimes." —School Library Journal
"Based on a story called 'Manju Kowai' or 'Scared of Buns,' from the Japanese oral storytelling tradition of rakugo, Katakawa’s picture-book version is entertainingly presented. The forest-set mixed-media illustrations reward close inspection with clever details (e.g., the snake’s teacup is perched on her head—and she wears glasses). Bear is large but deft in his movements; readers will likely appreciate his cunning in earning a tasty treat but will also see the potential for friendship, as the smiling animals all appear to be having fun."—The Horn Book
"This lighthearted tale is a twist on a classic story from the Japanese oral tradition of rakugo, making for a delightful read-aloud. Mixed-media illustrations add energy to the excitement, and the delectable subject may have children demanding a manju cake before the end."—Booklist
"readers should be tickled by Bear’s willingness to play the fool for the sake of a yummy treat."—Publishers Weekly