Benjamin Bear is a creative problem solver and humorous, sarcastic friend to a variety of animals. Fuzzy Thinking is a collection of short one page vignettes that include Benjamin Bear and a range of animals, most often a rabbit, crafting a whimsical and hilarious world. Most stories start with a question or dilemma, and finish with a creative and often funny, answer or process. One story called “Help Your Friends” involves Benjamin Bear washing his dishes in a waterfall when rabbit stops by to ask if he needs help. Benjamin Bear says “well…the dishes need drying.” and proceeds to pick up rabbit and use him as a towel. Also in the story “The Comic Strip” rabbit wonders why Benjamin Bear doesn’t read comics, and he responds with “Because I am a bear in a comic…so…when I read comics the reader gets bored”, with the final picture in the story being Benjamin Bear reading a comic.
Toon has really come through with exceptional comic books for young readers and Benjamin Bear is just another addition. Laugh out loud moments are often and smiles are aplenty. Coudray’s drawings are simple yet manage to convey Benjamin Bears’ personality perfectly. The illustrations are perfectly matched with the clever and witty dialogue. A children’s graphic novel collection would not be complete without Toon titles, and certainly not without Benjamin Bear.
Benjamin Bear in Fuzzy Thinking
by Philippe Coudray
Toon Books, 2011
Publisher Age Rating: Level 2 (Grades 1-2)