Reviews for Somebody and the Three Blairs
Publishers Weekly Reviews 1991 March #5
The three Blairs--humans all--go for a walk, and Somebody--looking mighty like a bear--makes himself right at home in their cozy domicile. In their picture book debut, these collaborators offer a vivacious version of the classic tale. The book's crisp, deceptively simple design features a pleasing symmetry (much of the cheery artwork is arranged in threes on the verso pages) and ample white space. The pink-cheeked Blairs seem delightfully average, with the possible exception of Baby Blair, who has an endearing way of getting to the heart of things. Planning their outing, Baby exclaims, ``Feeda ducks''; surveying the post-bruin mess, the wise toddler cries, ``Naughty!'' (He is the first, in fact, to spot the sleeping intruder: ``Issa big teddy bear.'') The up-to-date details will provoke chuckles, as when Somebody holds a flexible shower nozzle over his head and realizes, ``This rain is too hot.'' This book, however, is just right. Ages 3-6. (Mar.) Copyright 1991 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 1991 May
K-Gr 2-- In this satirical send-up of the Goldilocks tale, Somebody is a bear who rampages through the Blair family's house while they are out. Somebody raids the pantry, slightly twisting the usual rejections of the food: ``too dry, too noisy, just right.'' The hand-held shower is too hot, the toilet is a pond that is too small, but the stream of water at the sink is just right. Somebody devastates the house far worse than Goldilocks ever did, and falls asleep in Baby Blair's crib. He escapes down the drainpipe when the Blairs return, but Baby Blair invites him back to play. Abel's paste cartoons are jolly, with red-cheeked Blairs and a cuddly Somebody. Figures are laid against large white backgrounds with additional details present only occasionally. This uncluttered look is effective, lending emphasis to the ritual plot elements. Children who have overdosed on Goldilocks will love this version. Brinton Turkle's Deep in the Forest (Dutton, 1976) is a straightforward retelling of the story with the role reversal the only differing component. Tolhurst's version is a bit more sophisticated with its urban setting, and Abel adds a sly touch of humor in the worried expressions on the faces of Mr. and Mrs. Blair while Baby enters fully into the enjoyment of mess, damage, and naughtiness. So will readers, who will also appreciate the uncommon stimulation of literary allusion. --Ruth Semrau, Lovejoy School, Allen, TX Copyright 1991 Cahners Business Information.