Bear with Me

( 1 )

Overview

Everything in Owen's world is just peachy-till his parents bring home a bear named Gary-without even asking! Gary changes everything: he takes up way too much space and makes a mess of all of Owen's toys. Gary means well, though, and eventually Owen starts to see that there are some good things about having a bear in the family.

Because Gary is such an unusual addition to the family, this story will appeal to kids getting used to any kind of new family member, be it a baby, ...

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Overview

Everything in Owen's world is just peachy-till his parents bring home a bear named Gary-without even asking! Gary changes everything: he takes up way too much space and makes a mess of all of Owen's toys. Gary means well, though, and eventually Owen starts to see that there are some good things about having a bear in the family.

Because Gary is such an unusual addition to the family, this story will appeal to kids getting used to any kind of new family member, be it a baby, grandparent, pet, or even sharing with a friend. Refreshing humor, expressive illustrations, and characters full of personality make this warm, funny debut a book that will be treasured.

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Editorial Reviews

The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“Kornell brings a wry, at times epigrammatic style to Owen’s narration, and he’s clearly inviting his audience to share in the joke of the ursine twist on the usual family-addition story. Mixed-media art has the soft familiarity of watercolors with a crisp and comedic immediacy conferred by a cartoonish vigor. . . . Gary in particular is a big, appealingly goofy presence. . . . Kids will argue that they’d rather have a bear than a baby sib anytime, but they’ll gigglingly take the point.”
From the Publisher
“Inventive humor in both the text and the illustrations. . . . Its sweet message . . . will resonate with plenty of youngsters. . . . This charming offering can be enjoyed even by those whose families are staying just the way they are.” — School Library Journal

“Kornell brings a wry, at times epigrammatic style to Owen’s narration, and he’s clearly inviting his audience to share in the joke of the ursine twist on the usual family-addition story. Mixed-media art has the soft familiarity of watercolors with a crisp and comedic immediacy conferred by a cartoonish vigor. . . . Gary in particular is a big, appealingly goofy presence. . . . Kids will argue that they’d rather have a bear than a baby sib anytime, but they’ll gigglingly take the point.” — The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

“Gentle, wordless pages explore their developing friendship and invite readers to provide the narration. . . . A sweet and refreshing spin on the old new-sibling plot.” — Kirkus Reviews

“A displacement story with a twist. . . . Portraying vulnerability without making one’s characters look like whiners or wusses is no easy task, but Kornell succeeds. . . . He sets a sweetly plaintive mood that makes even the expected happy ending quietly gratifying.” — Publishers Weekly

Children's Literature - Nicole Peterson Davis
Do you anticipate someone who is close to you going through a change in their family? This book is about a young boy named Owen who was quite happy until his parents decided to bring home a new bear named Gary. This bear changed everything in Owen's life and he did not like it. Until, one day Gary went outside to play with him. Then Owen started to recognize the good things Gary was doing to help him. The metaphor here is easily recognized by adults as a new sibling coming into his life. For a younger child, the concept might be a little difficult to grasp, but this book might also be a good way to teach young children about change without experiencing the emotions associated with the change in his or her life. Since no young child has experienced a bear coming into his or her life, the child might be able to see the situation in a new perspective. The text is well written and the pictures enhance the story line. Reviewer: Nicole Peterson Davis
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—An unnamed boy tells the story of his parents bringing home an unexpected addition to the family. He says, "I don't like surprises. Surprises are never as good as you hoped for." The new arrival is a bear who shares his room, snores all night, breaks his tree swing, and forgets to put the caps on his markers. The child slowly gets to know Gary and learns to appreciate the fun things they can do together. With inventive humor in both the text and the illustrations, this picture book is all about the adjustment to an unexpected sibling. Its sweet message, "Some surprises turn out even better than you hoped for," will resonate with plenty of youngsters. The pleasant watercolor, ink, and acrylic illustrations are expertly drawn, with an interesting use of outlining, perspectives, and layout. Details like the changing pictures on the walls and the use of panels reflect the progress of the relationship between the boy and bear. This charming offering can be enjoyed even by those whose families are staying just the way they are.—Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Owen's world is perfect until his parents decide to add a bear to their family. "It started off just right. I had mom and a dad and my own set of blocks. I had everything I needed." His parents bring home a huge, brown bear named Gary who invades Owen's perfect life and territory. Gary takes up Owen's parents' time, plays with his toys, ruins his markers and swing and keeps him up all night with his overwhelming snoring. It takes a while for Owen to adjust to this enormous change, but like children everywhere with a new sibling or other addition to the family, he learns to appreciate and even love the interloper. The droll illustrations, in which Owen and Gary appear to have been cut out and glued into a suburban subdivision, put the new brothers at the center of the action. Despite the cartoon style, emotions are clear. Owen's eyes, near tears, zero in on Gary's fearful expression at their first meeting; the two smile at each other while sharing blocks.Gentle, wordless pages explore their developing friendship and invite readers to provide the narration. The only misstep is the use of colored text rather than quotation marks to show speech, which could be an unnecessary impediment for new readers. Nevertheless, a sweet and refreshing spin on the old new-sibling plot.(Picture book. 2-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399252570
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 5/12/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 980,765
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Lexile: AD500L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.90 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Max Kornell graduated from Rhode Island School of Design. His regular comic for LA Weekly, "Los Angelopolis," took second place at the 2008 AAN (Association of Alternative Newsweeklies) Awards. He teaches art at Crossroads and the Brentwood Art Center, and lives in Los Angeles, California.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2014

    Highly recommend.  My 3-year-old grandson has an 8-month old bab

    Highly recommend.  My 3-year-old grandson has an 8-month old baby brother.  I don't know if he made the intended connection in his head between the book's content and his life, but he loved this book.  Had me read it to him three times in a row and wanted a fourth read. 

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