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Pete and Gabby: The Bears Go to Town

Illustrated by Katherine Kirkland



Albert Whitman & Company
March, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-8075-0595-3
 $14.99

Cover Copyright © by Albert Whitman & Co., 2012

The Bears Go to Town

Two curious bears look for excitement.
Off they go into town where they stop...
    at the ice cream shop,
       the post office,
         and the firehouse.
Is anyone glad  to see them?
What will happen now????

Author's Note: I have always loved bears! We used to see them on camping trips to Baxter State Park in Maine, and, in the last few years, black bears have appeared in Bucks County. In fact, several years ago, one appeared on our front lawn heading for our neighbor's blueberry patch. Our local newspaper reports that the bears swim across the Delaware River from NJ, and one article told how they loved to raid restaurant trash cans. That article struck a chord... and hence Pete and Gabby: The Bears go to Town.

What Reviewers Said:

School Library Journal: Elizabeth Bird, Fuse #8 Production Librarian Previews (Spring 2012): When I conjure up the image of bears getting in trouble, two things come immediately to mind: Yogi Bear ... and Daniel Pinkwater’s bad bears. Well Kay Winters (The Teeny Tiny Ghost) and Katherine Kirkland have paired up to create some stories in a Mercy Watson style. Pete and Gabby: The Bears Go to Town stars two bear cubs who wreck unintentional havoc in a small town. Less malicious than Pinkwater’s bears, these two are a pretty good approximation of what could have happened in Blueberries for Sal if Sal had also been a bear cub.

School Library Journal(April, 2012): Pete and Gabby are two highly inquisitive bears. Sorry to see the campers leave for the season, they wander into the nearby town for adventure and sustenance. They attempt to join a children's soccer game and are taken aback when the youngsters run away frightened. Similar reactions occur when they encounter people at the ice cream shop, post office and fire department. In each place, they create havoc but have a grand time. Familiar with this disorderly duo, the forester ranger is called to the rescue, and Pete and Gabby are escorted in a fire truck back to the wilderness. People they had accosted during their spree cheer and wave as they leave. However, the bears decide to return another day to explore the schoolhouse, because, as the ranger says, "Bears will be bears!" Kirkland's sketched and brightly colored illustrations are entertaining and full of mischief. The bears have all the curiosity of Curious George, and youngsters will enjoy the chaos they create in their innocence. The book is just the right choice for children ready for chapter books but still dependent on illustrations to support the text. Diane Antezzo, Ridgefield Library, CT.

Lisa Fabiano, Goodreads.com, April 10, 2012: Great for early readers or as a family read aloud, this is a charming story of two bears who decide to head into town and check out the sights. See what mischief they get into and how a ranger saves the day.

Upper Bucks Free Press: This Kid Reviews Books, Erik Weibel, March 2012:
This is a great story! I like how Ms. Winters gives the two bears different personalities. I like Gabby because she seems to be the more adventurous bear because she convinces Pete to go to town.... I laughed out loud when Gabby yells “PEOPLE” in response to the towns-people yelling “BEARS”! The book is an excellent choice for kid just learning to read on their own and would make a great read aloud for parents.
Eric stopped by the Authors Tent at the Tinicum Arts Festival in July to say hello. Eric Weibel

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