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Albert the Bear    by Nick Butterworth order for
Albert the Bear
by Nick Butterworth
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2003 (2002)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Albert looks so sad, even from the back, but especially from the front ... 'He has the saddest eyes you ever saw.' Wanting to cheer Albert up, the other toys in Mr. Jolly's shop put their heads together.

They decide to put on a show, 'a Happy and Entertaining Treat, to Cheer, Amuse, and Tickle the Funny Bone of a Very Sad Bear.' Albert tries to tell them something, but can't get a word in edgewise, and the show begins badly. Pickle forgets her joke, Jack-in-the-Box aims too high, and Sally the hippo's ballet routine ends up in a heap.

But all's well that ends well, as the toys learn an important lesson about judging by appearances, and have fun with a new friend. Albert the Bear is a honey of a tale, engagingly illustrated in the appealing context of every child's favorite spot, the toy store.

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