Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Pete and Gabby: The Bears Go to Town

Pete and Gabby: The Bears Go to Town

Kay Winters
Illustrator:  Katherine Kirkland 
For ages 6 to 8
Albert Whitman & Company, 2012   ISBN: 978-0807505953

It is fall and the camping season is over. Gabby and Pete, a pair of bear cubs, are feeling very lonely because the Happy Time Campground is closed and there are no people around. Gabby suggests that they should go to town. She knows that campers are “always going there.” Surely town is the perfect place for two lonely bears. After Abby tells him that there are sure to be things to eat in town, Pete agrees to the proposed expedition.

   On their way to town Gabby and Pete see a person driving a green pickup truck. They wave at the driver who for some reason speeds away. When they get to town they don’t see any tents or camper’s fireplaces, but they do see a group of children playing soccer on a green field. The cubs have seen the game being played before and they join in. Even though Pete scores a goal, the children yell “BEARS!” at the tops of their voices and run away. The cubs are very confused by this bizarre behavior. Peter begins to consider the possibility that the people are not happy to see them and that perhaps it would be better if they went home. Gaby is made of sterner stuff. She is determined to enjoy their “adventure,” no matter what Pete says.

   In this wonderfully funny chapter book we meet a pair of bears who enjoy a trip to town where they visit an ice cream parlor, a post office, and a fire station. Being young bears, they manage to cause a great deal of mess and chaos in a very short period of time. Readers will thoroughly enjoy seeing the world through Pete and Gaby’s eyes, and they will understand why the bears are very puzzled by the behavior of the humans that they meet.