Wow… Nibly the Bear Visits the People Town. I think it’s safe to say that should I ever have children, this will not be bedtime story material.
First off, there is a matter of syntax --- it stinks. Some words are randomly capitalized, whereas other words (and phrases) are capitalized and have single quotes around them: ‘Hippies’, ‘Teenagers’, ‘Peace’, and ‘Funky Monkey Burger Barn’. Sometimes there can be as many as three sentences in a row ending in exclamation points; one such sentence begins with “and”.
Second, the dialogue is… interesting. Although the book appears to be set in modern times, one boy says “Golly Gee Thanks Mr. Bear!” Has anyone ever really spoken like this? I’m not sure, but I do know that I’ve never heard anyone use that phrase in a serious manner. The dialogue also seems… choppy for some reason. I can’t quite seem to figure out why, but to me it comes across as such.
The plot is, of course, ridiculous. I don’t mean the premise of the plot (bear is bored with food in the mountains and so ventures into civilisation), it has potential in the hands of a skilled author. I mean the points added to that premise that Nelson seems to think add whimsy. For example, Nibly randomly finds a sack of money upon beginning his journey to the town (a man drops it). This is simply bad plot development. Because the author is too lazy or too unimaginative to think of a creative way for Nibly to get money, it simply appears out of nowhere. Nibly is also anthropomorphic and able to speak with humans; not exactly a bad thing as it has been done well in other children’s books (Paddington Bear, Narnia, Martha Speaks, et cetera) but in the hands of Nelson, comes across as silly and contrived.
That isn't even everything. There is substance abuse (marijuana is used extensively by “‘Hippies’“), there is even racism (Chief Up In Smoke of the Wallapoloogey Tribe is a blatant stereotype of Native Americans). Just don't get this book. Please. Do it for the children.