Cover image for Young Larry
Young Larry
Pinkwater, Daniel Manus, 1941-
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Marshall Cavendish, [1997]

Physical Description:
32 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 23 cm
After being hit on the head by his mother and told to fend for himself, Larry the polar bear floats from Baffin Bay to New Jersey where he gets a job as a lifeguard.
Reading Level:
560 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.2 0.5 2856.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order


Author Notes

Author, illustrator, and radio commentator Daniel M. Pinkwater was born in Memphis Tennessee on November 15, 1941. He is trained as an artist and attended Bard College. In 1969, he wrote and illustrated his first book, The Terrible Roar. Since then he has written over 50 books for children, young adults, and adults. He is also a commentator on National Public Radio's All Things Considered and regularly reviews children's books on Weekend Edition Saturday. While he has illustrated many of his works, his most recent ones have been illustrated by his wife Jill Pinkwater.

(Bowker Author Biography) Daniel Pinkwater is regarded by critics, educators, psychologists, and law enforcement agencies as the world's most influential writer of books for children and young adults. Since 1987, he has been a regular commentator on NPR's All Things Considered and two collections of his essays have been brought out to the delight of listeners who can read. He lives in Hyde Park, New York.

(Publisher Provided)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 4^-7. These two books introduce Larry, an affable polar bear with a fondness for muffins. Young Larry takes place on Baffin Bay, where Larry and his brother, Roy, grow up under their mother's watchful eye--until she thumps them on their heads and tells them to fend for themselves. Larry, having been fed muffins by tourists, longs for the good life, and while taking a nap on an ice chunk, he floats into civilization, eventually obtaining a job as a lifeguard. Alas, when his employer realizes his species, Larry is let go. But the bear saves a drowning man, who hires him to be a lifeguard at a new hotel named just for Larry--which is where Hotel Larry picks up. Although he enjoys his job, Larry also likes a day off. One day at the zoo, he is reunited with Roy, who, along with his zoo bear pals, also enjoys a good time. Pinkwater is only mildly outrageous here, which for anyone else would still be pretty daffy. The books' jolly good humor (except for that thump on the head by Mama) is matched by Jill Pinkwater's appealing artwork, which is at its best when Larry is disguised and out on the town, badly overdressed. The preschool set will laugh, but primary-graders may laugh even harder. --Ilene Cooper

Publisher's Weekly Review

These two wry tales introduce a polar bear who's equally at home in the Arctic's Baffin Bay, at the Jersey shore and in a supercooled hotel pool. In Young Larry the cub's life changes dramatically when an ice floe takes him to Bayonne, N.J., where he finds a career as a lifeguard ("I have never so much as tasted a human," he assures a rescuee). Hotel offers a recap and adds more unorthodox adventures without dropping the deadpan tone: a rescued swimmer, out of gratitude, opens a hotel so Larry can continue lifeguarding and Larry also visits the zoo, where he re-unites with his brother Roy. Daniel Pinkwater (Wallpaper from Space) deftly shifts between nature-show logic and tall-tale exaggerations. When Larry's mother explains that Larry and Roy will one day fend for themselves, per "Nature's way," her sons answer, "Wow. That is harsh." In Jill Pinkwater's (Superpuppy) minimalist pen-and-ink and marker sketches, as in the text, Larry has attributes of a real bear as well as a talking cartoon: he rests on his mother's paws, swims in the ocean, lies in front of a fireplace in bearskin-rug position, and dines out in a coat-and-glasses disguise. Yet the Pinkwaters resist lapsing into teddy-bear cuteness; Larry is edgy and likable without being too cuddly. All ages. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 3‘The eccentric brilliance of the Pinkwaters shines brightly in this pair of books featuring Larry the polar bear. Young Larry and his brother Roy are a couple of regular cubs, with an absent father of whom they are nonetheless proud ("He found a dead whale one time, and ate the whole thing himself") and a typical polar bear mother ("One day, I will give you a hit in the head myself...and send you off to take care of yourselves"). When that day finally comes, Larry discovers that being a grown-up bear is downright boring. He curls up on the ice for a nap in Baffin Bay and wakes up in Bayonne, New Jersey. His taste for muffins leads him to a job as a lifeguard, and his rescue of a Mr. Martin Frobisher leads him to the sequel, At the Hotel Larry. There he resumes his lifeguarding career and is reunited with Roy during a visit to the zoo. Pinkwater's deadpan delivery deftly mixes these outrageous events with wry observations ("I am a wild polar bear myself....There is no other kind"), while remaining true to the animals' nature and raising this droll humor to hilarity. Pen-and-ink and marker illustrations in vivid tones extend Larry's character through expression, posture, and pose. Details such as the claw-based furniture of the Hotel Larry add visual dimension to the humor. At once both simple and sophisticated, these books have a fabulously quirky, memorable character whose exploits bear repeated readings.‘Starr LaTronica, Four County Library System, Vestal, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.