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The Ring Bear
Written by David Michael Slater
Illustrated by S. G. Brooks

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The Ring Bear

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The Ring Bear
A Rascally Wedding Adventure
Written by David Michael Slater
Illustrated by S. G. Brooks
Flashlight Press, New York: 2004
ISBN: 0-972-92251-2
Genre: Children's Picture Story Books

Reviewed by Auggie Moore - November 17, 2006

Westley the Wicked and his mom, Mom the Mean, have great fun together. They like to play pirate, and have a grand time talking and acting like pirates and transforming Westley's bedroom into a pirate's lair. The only problem they have comes in the form of Stan, Mom's boyfriend. Stan isn't one for playing games and he refuses to wear an eye patch or search for treasure. When Mom and Stan decide to get married, Westley's mom asks him to be the ring bearer at her upcoming wedding to Stan, and things take a turn for the worse. Westley thinks that she has asked him to become a ring BEARrrrr, and if she really wants him to become a bear, he'll do it - but he is determined to be the most rascally bear ever. As the wedding approaches, Westley becomes more and more bear-like, and more set in his notion that destroying the wedding might be a good idea. Is there anything that can turn Westley back into boy? The answer is yes, and it falls upon Stan to find the means of turning Westley back.

The Ring Bear: A Rascally Wedding Adventure was written by David Michael Slater and the story is accompanied by quirky illustrations by S. G. Brooks, one of the illustrators of Smokey the Bear. These illustrations graphically illustrate Westley's transformation into a bear, and back again into a boy. This delightful children's picture story book explores the problem of how to merge a new family member into an already tight family group, as well as the issues of jealousy and frustration that a child can feel in such a situation. All this is done in a short thirty-two pages, and it is done without ever mentioning any of these problems. At the same time, Slater presents a captivating story that will delight young and old readers alike.

Written for readers ages 4-8, this is an Accelerated Reader book, and a Society of School Librarians International (SSLI) Honor Book for 2004. In addition, The Ring Bear is printed in a large print type face that makes it easier for new readers to more easily identify each word, and which provides welcome relief for those who desire or need a large print text to read aloud to their rascally bear! The Ring Bear is a charming book filled with pictures that perfectly complement the story.

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