BENTLEY: Bags The Bear (Bentley and Friends)

Written by Michael Owen Jones

Illustrated by Emz Wright


First in a series of early chapter books for beginning readers. Children will enjoy reading the large print and chapters of a few pages each. The main character is Bentley the dog who has adventures with animal friends and enemies like Rodney the Cat and Meezel the Weasel.

In the first chapter readers are introduced to the family including the children Rebecca and Jonathan as well as Aunt Fanny who promptly sits on the couch and breaks it. Bentley, the puppy, is always blamed for breaking things and getting into mischief; all he wants is to be helpful and loved. When Rebecca loses her stuffed bear named Old Fur Face, Bentley hatches an ambitious plan to seek out and find it. This leads to a series of adventures with Rodney, the cat who despises him, a swim in the ocean, an encounter with a weasel, and an unexpected surprise upon arriving home that evening. Does Bentley ever get the recognition he deserves and will Rebecca find the missing teddy bear? At the conclusion of the adventure, Jones gives an enticing preview of the next book in the series in which Bentley observes a monster looking in the window!

This promises to be a wonderful series for beginning readers. Jones seems to have found winning elements, a combination of endearing animal and family characters, humor, adventure, and family lessons to be shared. Highly recommend for young readers ages six through nine and for teachers looking to refresh their read aloud selections. Parents might also read a chapter a night as a bedtime story.

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