A Birthday for Bear: Candlewick Sparks

Overview

Celebrate curmudgeonly Bear and the irrepressible Mouse in this laugh-out-loud companion to the best-selling A Visitor for Bear, now in picture-book format.

Bear does not like birthdays. He doesn’t like parties or balloons, cards or candles. In fact, Bear does not like anything to do with birthdays at all. He would much rather spend his birthday alone cleaning his house, but Mouse, small and gray and bright-eyed, has other ideas. With a perfectly paced story by Bonny Becker ...

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Overview

Celebrate curmudgeonly Bear and the irrepressible Mouse in this laugh-out-loud companion to the best-selling A Visitor for Bear, now in picture-book format.

Bear does not like birthdays. He doesn’t like parties or balloons, cards or candles. In fact, Bear does not like anything to do with birthdays at all. He would much rather spend his birthday alone cleaning his house, but Mouse, small and gray and bright-eyed, has other ideas. With a perfectly paced story by Bonny Becker paired with Kady MacDonald Denton’s slapstick visual comedy, A Birthday for Bear — previously published as a first reader — welcomes young listeners to the party in a new picture-book format, with all new artwork, ideal for sharing.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
We welcome back Bear and Mouse on Bear's birthday. Since he likes nothing at all about birthdays, Bear tries to keep busy on his. When Mouse arrives to wish him a happy birthday, he tries to deny it and, annoyed that Mouse has written a party invitation, sweeps him out the door. But Mouse persists in trying to make Bear celebrate with balloons, a card, even a present, only to have Bear angrily shut him out. Finally, however, when a birthday cake arrives, Bear cannot resist. When Mouse pops out of the cake, Bear must admit that chocolate is his favorite. At last Mouse triumphs as they enjoy a birthday celebration together. Denton's visualization conveys its humor and emotional messages as Mouse, in different disguises, consistently delivers his offerings with prideful pleasure. Bear insistently exudes supposed displeasure but finally succumbs to curiosity and lets the party begin. Watercolors, gouache, and brown ink outlines create double-page scenes of the slightly stylized lovable couple and domestic details. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Children's Literature - Phyllis J. Perry
This easy-reader-format picture book has two characters: a large, cranky bear who definitely does not like anything connected with birthdays and a tiny and determined mouse, who is certain that if he keeps trying, he will find a way to engage bear in a happy celebration. There is plenty of humor as the two interact on Bear's birthday. Bear rebuffs parties, balloons, cards, and a present, but, in the end, he cannot resist the chocolate birthday cake left at his doorstep. Designed for independent readers, each page has two to six lines of text. The full color ink and watercolor illustrations are humorous and charming. Fans of the earlier book, Bear's Visitor, by the same author/illustrator combination, will be happily engaged in this newest and recommended story Reviewer: Phyllis J. Perry
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—The winning stars of A Visitor for Bear (Candlewick, 2008) make a return engagement, this time in early-reader format. Grumpy old Bear is totally uninterested in celebrating his birthday, but his cheery friend Mouse doggedly dons several comical disguises to trick and cajole him into enjoying the festive trappings of a party invitation, balloons, and a present. It is all to no avail, until Mouse leaves a beautiful homemade cake on Bear's doorstep; it's hard for him to ignore his favorite flavor and the fact that no one has ever made him a cake before. Mouse, hiding in the cake, brings back the balloons, the party hats, and the gift, and Bear's birthday is celebrated, at last, in fine and joyful style. Whimsical full-color ink and watercolor illustrations hilariously depict the yin and yang of enormous, cantankerous Bear and tiny, merry Mouse. A sprinkling of colorful, out-of-the-ordinary vocabulary words and phrases adds welcome spice to the narrative. Fluent early readers will be pulled into this title by the appeal of its universal subject, entertaining characters, and the satisfying story with just the right amount of tension unfolding in four short chapters.—Kathleen Finn, St. Francis Xavier School, Winooski, VT
Kirkus Reviews
Fans of the 2008 picture book A Visitor for Bear will delight in this second offering from Becker and Denton about curmudgeonly Bear and his intrepidly friendly-not to mention "small and gray and bright-eyed"-visitor, Mouse. This time, however, the book is an early reader, welcoming new readers to independently encounter this odd couple's deepening friendship. At book's opening, although Bear has accepted Mouse's presence, he rejects all presents and denies Mouse's efforts to celebrate his birthday. Undaunted, Mouse persists in showing up in a variety of disguises to deliver all sorts of goodies and gifts. As in their earlier picture book, Mouse draws up on the sheer force of his cheery goodwill to chip away at Bear's resolve, ultimately succeeding in forging a deeper bond between them. The text is broken into four chapters, and it reads as a well-pitched combination of humorous dialogue and omniscient commentary. Meanwhile, the energetic ink-and-watercolor illustrations brim with humor while firmly establishing Mouse and Bear as friends new readers will enjoy visiting time and again. (Early reader. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763658236
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 9/11/2012
  • Series: Bear and Mouse Series
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 624,823
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 10.60 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Bonny Becker

Bonny Becker is the author of all the Bear and Mouse books as well as a number of other award-winning picture books and middle-grade novels. She lives in Seattle.

Kady MacDonald Denton is the illustrator of the Bear and Mouse stories as well as Tim Wadham’s The Queen of France and Claire Masurel’s Two Homes. She lives in Ontario, Canada.

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