by Gaëtan Dorémus

Bear Despair

Hello again. I am a friend of Julia’s and I used to pop up from time to time. I’m happy to be a regular contributor to BBIC, especially since I now have a new niece and nephew. I consider it my personal mission to add weirdness to their lives, and this project is the perfect way to screen books that will introduce them to good design, offbeat creativity, and a preference for cats. These are my stories:

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Bear Despair has been my favorite ever since it joined the growing stack of books to be reviewed over a year ago. I think I first came across it at the MoMA store.  It immediately won me over with the title – which could easily be the title of some Edward Gorey educational app about rhyming if only he were still around.

Allow me to summarize the story for you. Once upon a time a fox comes along and steals a teddy bear from a big blue bear.

Bear Despair

So he eats him.

Bear Despair

Bear Despair

Bear Despair

I won’t give away the ending but I can assure you it is appropriate for children. I sometimes kind of feel that wordless books are a cop-out but this one doesn’t disappoint.

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I spent a long time pondering why it is so delightful, I think it is the amazing way Gaëtan Dorémus captures gesture and expression. So much adorable bear rage. And a fantastic art style and color palette. The moral of the story: Don’t steal things from anyone big enough to eat you. Get a copy here.

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