The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland. unpgd. Orchard Books/ Scholastic Inc., July 29, 2014. 9780545612692. (Finished copy courtesy of publisher for review.)
In the Jingle Jangle Jungle, four friends, Moose, Lion, Zebra and Sheep dash into a cave to get out of the rain. It seems a perfect place for an impromptu card game but for the very cranky bear! They are chased back out into the rain but are undeterred. Moose, Lion and Zebra each decide he knows the (hilarious) reason for why bear is cranky and reenter the cave to cheer him up. Just as Sheep thinks they've been eaten, out they tear followed by an even crankier bear, now sporting zebra stripes, a lion's mane and moose antlers! It is plain, old sheep who can provide what Bear needs to un-crank.
The text is jaunty and rhyming. The adorable illustrations are energetic, humorous and cause the eye to linger. This makes for a fun read-aloud and won't be a shelf-sitter.