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Bad Bears in the Big City: An Irving & Muktuk Story

(Irving and Muktuk)

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  82 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Irving and Muktuk have arrived from Yellowtooth in the frozen North to their new home in the Bayonne, New Jersey, Zoo. There they meet another polar bear, Roy, who tells them about his life outside the zoo. Roy goes home every night at six when the zoo closes. After a week of swimming, eating fish and the occasional muffin thrown to them by zoo visitors, playing, and takin ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 23rd 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company
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Average rating 3.41  · 
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 ·  82 ratings  ·  20 reviews

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Feb 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Picture-Book Readers Who Enjoy Hilarious Stories
Recommended to Abigail by: Max G.
Shelves: picture-books
Newly arrived at the Bayonne, New Jersey, Zoo, Irving and Muktuk, two bad bears with a penchant for stealing blueberry muffins, have some trouble settling into their new life. It's not easy going straight when your new home is next to a muffin factory, and your new friend gets to leave the zoo at the end of the day. What are two bears to do, but set out to explore the city...?

The second hilarious picture book featuring Irving and Muktuk, Bad Bears in the Big City features some classic Pinkwater
May 22, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
I can't see how you can read this without understanding that these are "bears" cruisin' the city's YMCAs. Which makes this book SO GREAT. ...more
Phil Jensen
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's pretty good, but not as great as the first one. The best part was when I&M pass for humans because they are wearing hats. The frozen peas bit is pretty good, too. Everyone seems really indignant that they would treat frozen peas like that. As if frozen carrots would be any better.

In the Pinkwater polar bear chronology, this seems to fit in between Young Larry and At the Hotel Larry. This book shows them meeting up with Roy at the zoo, and they're already at the zoo with Roy in At the Hotel
Lisa Vegan
Oct 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: all young children and their adults
Recommended to Lisa by: Abigail A.
I’d resigned myself to reading these Irving & Muktuk Two Bad Bear books out of order. I’d read Irving and Muktuk: Two Bad Bears and I do think that’s the first book. Either this book actually is the second of five (so far) or Daniel Pinkwater writes them so that reading them in any order makes sense. Each book can stand own.

This book was slightly less hilarious, although still very funny, than the first. It also had more poignancy as the three polar bears (Irving and Muktuk and their new friend
Feb 16, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Joshua Krieger
This book is about two polar bears, Irving and Muktuk, who are transferred to a new zoo after causing problems at their previous location. This book explores the adventures that Irving and Muktuk have at this new city. They meet another polar bear named Roy, who has his own apartment. They want the same rights as roy

Pinkwater, D. M., & Pinkwater, J. (2003). Bad Bears in the big city. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Mar 31, 2019 rated it liked it
After being sent to the zoo in Bayonne, New Jersey from Yellowtooth in the frozen north by Sheriff Bunny for stealing muffins, Irving and Mutuk meet a polar bear named Roy who befriends them, and has his own apartment. Irving and Mutuk sneak out of the zoo, and into the muffin factory next door. Once they are caught Roy becomes responsible to keep the bad bears out of trouble.
Irving and Muktuk are shipped to the United States to live in a zoo. They are given pillows. They play cards. They are not to be trusted. All they want is to steal muffins from the muffin factory next door. They promise not to eat people.

There's your story.
I like how the bad bears are considered bad and are not seen as redeemable. THey are not so bad, though, so it doesn't much matter. ...more
I was disappointed and uncomfortable while reading this to my daughter. She kept asking me why the bears were called bad. I think we would have enjoyed the story more if there was not so much emphasis on the bear's behaviour being bad or everyone around them expecting them to be bad. Their behaviour seemed perfectly natural to me. Who would want to be locked up in a zoo? Who would want to eat dried up bear pellet food over yummy muffins? ...more
Debra  Golden
Sep 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this as one of the 'destination stories' for my creative voyages drama camp. The kids and I enjoyed it. A quick and silly read that parents may enjoy reading along with the little ones. Jill's illustrations are quite humorous, too.Now I want to read the rest of the the bad bears books. Mmmmmm- muffins! ...more
Aug 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: children
I have a hard time with rating this. On one hand, the kids loved it. On the story lacked any kind of moral value. These bears can't be trusted to behave and are bad, but they're not given a chance either. But my kids love it, do I suppose if it's encouraging them to enjoy books, that's something. ...more
Jennifer Oaks
Dec 16, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: trust
I do not see how this is a good children's book overall. It is all about the two bears stealing and not learning anything from it. I do like that another bear takes them in to try and help them to reform. ...more
Nov 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pb, storytime
the sentence structure is simple so that would be good for an early reader. funny book. open ended ending. could dialogue with kids about how to solve the various problems the bears encounter in this book.
May 03, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
My son actually stopped me part way through and requested that I read him something else instead.
Mar 16, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was my 2nd Irving & Muktuk book. Same problems as the first book, kind of choppy writing, with some jokes that fell flat. But still a cute book, with illustrations I enjoy.
Nov 10, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids
I'm usually a fan of Daniel Pinkwater, but this one didn't do much for me. ...more
sophisticated scene
bears behaving badly
Nov 24, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one is a little dissapointing, but one needs to read it to keep the continuity of the story going... ;-)
Sarah Kuhlman
rated it it was amazing
Jun 11, 2016
Kristina Silverbears
rated it it was ok
Aug 31, 2015
Apr 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh goodness. Irving and Muktuk remind me so much of some Jr. High students I used to know, and of certain young teens. Bluffing insecurities and desires by covering them up with an attitude, and being too smart, too capable of the con, for their own good.

The Pinkwaters are both crazy, in their own wonderful ways (at least as expressed in their collaborations).

Though these do each stand alone, they're even better read in order, imo.
Jennifer Heise
rated it it was amazing
Mar 26, 2013
rated it really liked it
Jun 20, 2016
rated it really liked it
Jun 29, 2013
Milo Sykes
rated it liked it
Jun 02, 2015
Sondra Zalewski
rated it it was ok
Aug 25, 2019
rated it really liked it
Feb 01, 2008
Hal Johnson
rated it really liked it
Feb 06, 2015
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Oct 08, 2007
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Daniel Manus Pinkwater is an author of mostly children's books and is an occasional commentator on National Public Radio. He attended Bard College. Well-known books include Lizard Music, The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death, Fat Men from Space, Borgel, and the picture book The Big Orange Splot. Pinkwater has also illustrated many of his books in the past, although for more recent works that ...more

Other books in the series

Irving and Muktuk (5 books)
  • Irving and Muktuk: Two Bad Bears
  • Bad Bear Detectives: An Irving and Muktuk Story
  • Bad Bears and a Bunny: An Irving and Muktuk Story
  • Bad Bears Go Visiting: An Irving and Muktuk Story

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