Bear Has a Story to Tell

( 6 )

Overview

It was almost winter and Bear was getting sleepy.

But first, Bear had a story to tell...

Bear found his friend Mouse, but Mouse was busy gathering seeds and didn't have time to listen to a story. Then Bear saw his friend Duck, but Duck was getting ready to fly south. What about his friend Toad? He was busy looking for a warm place to sleep. By the time Bear was through helping his friends get ready for winter,...

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Overview

It was almost winter and Bear was getting sleepy.

But first, Bear had a story to tell...

Bear found his friend Mouse, but Mouse was busy gathering seeds and didn't have time to listen to a story. Then Bear saw his friend Duck, but Duck was getting ready to fly south. What about his friend Toad? He was busy looking for a warm place to sleep. By the time Bear was through helping his friends get ready for winter, would anyone still be awake to hear his story?

This endearing story of friendship and patience is a worthy companion to Philip and Erin Stead's last collaboration, A Sick Day for Amos McGee, winner of the 2011 Caldecott Medal.

 

Bear Has a Story to Tell is a Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Book of 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Big, furry bears abound in children’s books, but Erin Stead’s is especially soulful. It might be the way his eyebrows furrow with concern, or the way he leans forward to hear what his friends are saying. Bear wants to tell a story, but his friends Mouse, Duck, Frog, and Mole are busy preparing for winter. (Mole is already asleep, in a den so deep the book has to be turned sideways to view it.) Instead, Bear offers help to his friends. Helpfulness in picture books can teach a moral lesson or it can let readers imagine luxuriating in that tender care themselves. This collaboration, which follows the Steads’ Caldecott-winning A Sick Day for Amos McGee, is of the second sort. Bear raises a great paw to check the wind for Duck and tucks Frog tenderly into his hole. When winter passes, the animals are reunited, but Bear has forgotten his story; now it’s his friends’ turn to help him. The quiet suggestion that no one has all the answers is just one of the many pleasures the Steads give readers. Ages 2–6. Agent: Emily van Beek, Folio Literary Management. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
“The universal desire to narrate our lives is at the heart of Philip C. Stead’s delightful and instructive ‘Bear Has a Story to Tell.’” —The New York Times Book Review

"The rhythms of nature and of storytelling are in fine form here.”—School Library Journal, starred review

"...especially soulful….The quiet suggestion that no one has all the answers is just one of the many pleasures the Steads give readers.”—Publishers Weekly, starred

“The creators of the Caldecott-winning A Sick Day for Amos McGee (2010) offer another charming story about the reciprocal nature of friendship…” —Booklist

"Quietly entrancing." —Horn Book

Children's Literature - Carrie Hane Hung
Autumn is shifting toward winter and sleepy Bear has a story to tell his friends, Mouse, Duck, Frog, and Mole. Each of his friends is busy with their individual preparations such as gathering food or creating their home for the winter so his storytelling gets put off for the time being. After helping his friends, Bear is ready for his winter sleep. When winter changes to spring, Bear welcomes back each of his friends. He is ready to tell his long awaited story and his friends are ready to listen. However, he needs their help to jog his memory to tell the story. In the illustrations, the golden rich colors of fall foliage subtly indicate the season to the readers. The background and foreground are simple and not overly detailed; the sky and ground are not filled in with color. As the main character, Bear is predominant in the pictures. His friends appear small on the page and may not be easy to spot on the pages especially in a large group, read-aloud setting. The story has a circular type of ending that resembles the beginning for an interesting twist. This story is calm bedtime tale. Reviewer: Carrie Hane Hung
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Before hunkering down to hibernate, Bear wants to share a story with his friends, but Mouse, Duck, Frog, and Mole are too busy with their own winter preparations to listen. Months later, Bear wakes up and is eager to reunite with his pals and finally tell his tale. He "clear[s] his throat," "puff[s] out his chest," and then, much to his chagrin, forgets what he wants to say. His friends offer prompts that jog his memory: "Maybe your story is about a bear," "Maybe your story is about the busy time just before winter," "there should be other characters too." In lovely circular fashion, the ending has Bear sitting on a log beginning his story that readers will remember as the first sentence of the book. Erin Stead's exquisite pencil and watercolor illustrations capture the beauty of the changing landscape with falling leaves, first snowflakes, and starry evenings. Bear's nurturing acts of kindness are also conveyed, from raising a paw to check the wind direction as Duck flies away to gently tucking Frog under a warm blanket of leaves and pine needles. The rhythms of nature and of storytelling are in fine form here.—Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada
Kirkus Reviews
Within a gentle tale of hibernation and renewal, the Steads' second collaboration (after Caldecott-winning A Sick Day for Amos McGee) explores a second, internal theme: the nature of the storytelling narrative itself. Increasingly sleepy, Bear pads through the fall landscape with "a story to tell" before winter's sleep. Mouse, Duck, Frog and Mole are well into their own winter preparations and cannot listen. Months later, when the reunited friends gather beneath a full moon, Bear can't remember his story. Helpfully, his friends suggest a protagonist ("Maybe your story is about a bear"), a plot ("Maybe your story is about the busy time just before winter"), and supporting characters (themselves). Thus, Bear begins his story as this one ends: The first line of his story is both the last line of the book and its first. Erin Stead's pictures quietly appeal: Pencil line and shading define basic features of animals and trees, while washes and smudges of paint suggest seasonal colors, Bear's rotund mass, and the brushy cobalt expanse of starlit skies. Sharing an affinity with Jerry Pinkney yet evoking the sparer 1960s work of Evaline Ness and Nonny Hogrogian, Stead's compositions exude an ineffable, less-is-more charm. The Steads' work adopts a folkloric approach to cooperative relationships; the affectionately rendered animals that stand in for humans convey a nurturing respect for child readers. (Picture book. 3-7)
The New York Times Book Review
…delightful and instructive…a simple lesson about animals' varying seasonal routines, wonderfully illustrated with spare drawings in earthy watercolor…
—Sara London
The Washington Post
Erin E. Stead's magical illustrations turn what might seem like a tale of frustration and loneliness into a tenderly detailed homage to the natural order of life.
—Kristi Elle Jemtegaard
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596437456
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
  • Publication date: 9/4/2012
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 118,482
  • Age range: 2 - 5 Years
  • Lexile: AD540L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Philip C. Stead and Erin E. Stead are author and illustrator of A Sick Day for Amos McGee, winner of the 2011 Caldecott Medal and a New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book. This is their second collaboration. This is Erin's third picture book for Roaring Brook Press, and Philip's fifth. Philip and Erin live in a 100-year-old barn in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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(5)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 1, 2013

    Exceptional

    This was a lovely and educational book. The pictures were beautiful watercolors, and there was a little humor in it at the end. It was a great bed time story and my grandchildren will enjoy it again and again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 30, 2013

    highly Recommended

    not bad, kids love it!

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  • Posted January 11, 2013

    Good feedback as gift

    I purchased the book for friends' 3 year old. The response I got-- What a wonderful and cute book!

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  • Posted December 28, 2012

    Great story and pictures

    Great story and pictures

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  • Posted November 25, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    It¿s almost winter, and Bear knows that it will soon be time for

    It’s almost winter, and Bear knows that it will soon be time for sleep, but first he has a story to tell. Will any of his friends, mouse who needs to gather seeds or duck who needs to fly south, be able to listen to his story?

    Bear Has a Story to Tell is a beautiful story of patience, kindness, and friendship with the occasional spurt of humour that will make you smile. It is beautifully illustrated by Erin E. Stead, the soft colours and painted feel adding to the sleepy calm nature that Bear evokes. A story within itself, Bear Has a Story to Tell will make a perfect addition to any child, or grown up’s, bedtime collection.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

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