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Big Bear's Big Boat
     

Big Bear's Big Boat

by Eve Bunting, Nancy Carpenter (Illustrator)
 

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Big Bear outgrew his little boat, so he is building himself a big boat and can't wait till he's rowing, fishing, and relaxing in it. When his friends start suggesting improvements, Big Bear obligingly follows their advice. To his dismay, his big boat is turning out all wrong. It's because he hasn't followed his own dream, and he knows exactly how to

Overview


Big Bear outgrew his little boat, so he is building himself a big boat and can't wait till he's rowing, fishing, and relaxing in it. When his friends start suggesting improvements, Big Bear obligingly follows their advice. To his dismay, his big boat is turning out all wrong. It's because he hasn't followed his own dream, and he knows exactly how to fix it. With all the simplicity, warmth, and wisdom of Little Bear's Little Boat, this book honors an important step in growing up.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A story riding on a Thoreau-vian sensibility with a Zen serenity. . . . This story is more than just a tale of sticking to your vision—it's a small world unto itself. A keeper."
Kirkus, starred review

"With spare, gentle text and cozy ink-and-paint illustrations, this picture book is nostalgic in feel and has a simple, timeless message about following one's dreams."
Booklist

"A sweet story about the simple happiness that comes from staying true to oneself."
School Library Journal

"The gentle, simply worded text and childlike bear will appeal to fans of Minarik's Little Bear series, and the short sentences and uncomplicated vocabulary may put this within range of the easy-reader crowd as well."
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Children's Literature - Carrie Hane Hung
In this sequel to Little Bear's Little Boat, Little Bear grows up to be Big Bear. In the earlier book, the young bear was too large for his boat. Now, Big Bear works on the construction of his new boat. After he finishes building his bigger boat, Big Bear receives advice from his friends, Beaver, Otter, and Blue Heron. Each friend makes a suggestion which leads to Big Bear adding a mast, top deck, and cabin on his newly constructed boat. As Big Bear looks at his big boat, he discovers that his plans for his boat conflict with the additions he made based on his friends' ideas. Big Bear must find a way to not hurt his friends' feelings and stay true to his dreams and happiness. The pen and ink illustrations are softly colored in blue, green, yellow, and brown which add to the gentle way the story unfolds. Children may wish to read the earlier book to understand the bear's feelings and perspective about his boat. Reviewer: Carrie Hane Hung
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—A sweet story about the simple happiness that comes from staying true to oneself. Big Bear outgrows his old boat and decides to build himself a bigger one. It is perfect: "You are just what I dreamed you would be," Big Bear says. But his friends suggest improvements: a mast, a top deck, and a cabin, which turn the boat into a bit of a mess. Big Bear politely thanks his pals for their input, but says, "This boat is not my dream," returns the boat to its original form, and happily rows around the lake. This follow-up to Bunting's Little Bear's Little Boat (Clarion, 2003) illustrates life lessons on listening to one's inner voice and respectfully sharing differences of opinion with a light touch. The quiet, straightforward text is in perfect harmony with the peaceful illustrations of the lake on which the animals live. Carpenter's pen, ink, and digital media images have a classic look. The kindness and honesty that Big Bear shows to his friends, even when they don't agree, is a positive example for kids learning how to socialize with peers.—Marian McLeod, Darien Library, CT
Kirkus Reviews
Bunting and Carpenter (Little Bear's Little Boat, 2003) team again with a story riding on a Thoreau-vian sensibility with a Zen serenity. Big Bear has outgrown his boat, so he has given it to Little Bear--who is having a blast with it--and embarked on building a bigger boat. It evolves from looking like a coracle to a whaler--a big rowboat--which is just the ticket, until well-meaning friends suggest Big Bear add a top deck, and a mast, and a cabin. Big Bear, no great carpenter, creates a shambling ramshackle of a boat--off true in every sense of the words. Big Bear gently tells his friends that the boat is not the one of his dreams. So he simplifies, simplifies, back to the big rowboat, back to something ancient and enduring, something to float on to watch the moon rise and the stars shoot, to take a nap to the lap of the water against the hull. The text has a clarity that could be set to music; Carpenter's artwork is spare, but its colors couldn't be more emotive and its poses more natural in their capturing of motion and mood. This story is more than just a tale of sticking to your vision--it's a small world unto itself. A keeper. (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780618585373
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
09/24/2013
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
1,349,113
Product dimensions:
8.32(w) x 8.26(h) x 0.38(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

EVE BUNTING has written over two hundred books for children, including the Caldecott Medal-winning Smoky Night, illustrated by David Diaz, The Wall, Fly Away Home, and Train to Somewhere. She lives in Southern California.

Nancy Carpenter, illustrator of many successful picture books, lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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