Bizard the Bear Wizard

Holiday House/Margaret Ferguson. Jun. 2023. 160p. Tr $20.99. ISBN 9780823451456. pap. $14.99. ISBN 9780823454877.
K-Gr 2–When a magical wand lands on his head during a windstorm, Bear begrudgingly becomes Bizard the Bear Wizard. He reluctantly starts to help his friends and neighbors, but things quickly become complicated as more and more animals find out about Bear’s magic. The story ends on a simple lesson about forgiveness, but the overall story feels sporadic, as subplots are suddenly introduced and wrapped up just as abruptly. However, the focus seems to be on the humor and the hilarious wishes the animal friends make, like a squirrel who wants to turn into a ninja, but then becomes a nut—creating a laugh-out-loud situation where Squirrel now finds itself delicious. Likewise, the simple word choice makes this ideal for readers who want to tackle longer graphic novels like “Dog Man,” but don’t yet have the vocabulary. Artwork feels equally simple and childlike, and matches the tone exactly.
VERDICT Simple and silly.

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