“Underwear!” by Jenn Harney; © 2019, Disney Hyperion; 40 pages


I see London, I see France….

You just flashed your undies by accident and someone noticed. Oops, you didn’t mean to do that. How embarrassing. How really silly. As in the new book “Underwear!” by Jenn Harney, how do you like to wear your underwear?

The little bear just got out of the bathtub. That made him a “bare bear.”

As he started to walk out of the bathroom, his mother reminded him that he couldn’t take one more step without putting on his tighty whities.

But the little bear didn’t really want to wear underwear. He started to act silly, asking his mother where he’d put his undies. He really didn’t lose them; he just wanted to tease her. Mama wasn’t happy.

But uh-oh. The underwear was torn. He couldn’t wear ripped undies, could he?

No worries. Mama had a spare pair for a silly bear who pretended that he didn’t know how to wear underwear. On his head? On the floor? On his bathtub toy? Or maybe like a cape or a suit or a place to play? He wore his undies on his head, like a hat. He knotted them and pulled at them and tugged and tried to look glamorous because “underwear makes awesome hair.”

A little bear can dive when wearing undies. He can be “Superbear” or “Aquabear!” When he was in his underwear, he could hide and run but he had to be careful. He needed to pay attention to what was around him. He had to remember that “Big Bear” might be in the room next door and Big Bear had absolutely no time for nonsense. Big Bear wouldn’t let the little bear get away with silliness.

Big Bear was not putting up with a bare little bear and no underwear …

Let’s face it: “Underwear!” is probably not going to win a Nobel Prize. It’s likely not going to be up for any literary award at all, in fact. But there’s a pretty good chance that author Jenn Harney’s book will become your toddler’s favorite all-around story, and that should be all the excuses you need to have it around.

Indeed, “Underwear!” is a no-brainer for small kids who think that BVDs are the height of sophisticated comedy. They’ll love the little rhyme that makes up the story and you’ll love that it’s clever, too. For kids that age, the illustrations will be a big draw, as well: they’re colorful and filled with hilarious action-packed scenes that get wilder and wilder as the pages pass. Just beware that yes, this book seems to be one you’d read at bedtime and yes, that action belies the end-of-day calm you need then, but things quiet down pretty quickly in the tale and it may be perfectly safe for sleepytime.

Overall, whether this is a daytime book or one for later in the evening, it’s great for the 3- to 5-year-old who’ll collapse in giggles at the mere mention of the title word. For him, “Underwear!” is a book he’ll want to see.


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