My Bear Griz
By Suzanne McGinness
(Frances Lincoln Ltd, Hardcover, 9781847801135, 32pp.)
Publication Date: August 2011
List Price: $17.95*
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Billy has a bear called Griz. A Grizzly Bear. And the two friends have all kinds of wonderful adventures together. They go exploring, play hide and seek, eat peanut butter and honey sandwiches, share secrets and tell jokes. Griz is the best friend a boy could possibly have - whether he's a Grizzly Bear or a teddy bear...This is a stunning debut picture book about a boy and his bear, in which the short text and tactile, large scale paintings bring Griz and Billy magically to life.
In My Bear Griz, the first book written and illustrated by Suzanne McGinness, a young boy wearing a paper crown declares, My name is Billy and I love bears” in immense text that mirrors the size of Griz, a grizzly, of course, and the bear he loves best. He goes on to describe the ins and outs of their friendship - they like to eat peanut butter and honey sandwiches, snuggle up for naps and stargaze in tandem. The sequence feels like a warmhearted coda to Jez Alborough’s Eddy and the Bear” series.
There is no story here to speak of, but it’s a sweet portrait of an imaginary friendship. The book’s strength is the illustration, which combines a scratchy, colorful Paul Galdone-like bear along with mixed media images: the boy with a collaged hat, intervals of childish penciled handwriting, watercolor washes and pen-and-ink drawings." - The New York Times