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Big Brown Bear's Up and Down Day
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Big Brown Bear's Up and Down Day

5.0 1
by David McPhail

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Bear is big and Bear is brown and Bear lives all alone. But then one day, someone comes along who gives him a few tips about the ups and downs of having a friend.


Bear is big and Bear is brown and Bear lives all alone. But then one day, someone comes along who gives him a few tips about the ups and downs of having a friend.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Big Brown Bear thought he could enjoy a quiet morning before his afternoon baseball game. But a rat interrupts his reverie when he attempts to purloin one of the bear's slippers to use for a bed. It's a set-up that seems ripe for a classic battle of wits. Rat tries to trick Big Brown Bear into thinking he has won a free trip, "up to the mountains, or down to the seashore. Up to the North Pole or down to the South Pole"-as long as he leaves his slippers behind ("They're not allowed on this trip. Says so right here in the fine print," fibs the unconvincing Rat). The bear stays put, and McPhail paints a gorgeous spread of the environs, with a nearby baseball diamond, orchard and waterfall. But the anticlimax makes the tale teeter between refreshing and unsatisfying. Declining Rat's ruse, the ursine fellow offers the scraggly rodent a bowl of oatmeal topped with bananas and cream-and eventually finds a way to give Rat what he needs. Some youngsters may be intrigued by the way Bear's modest and genuine acts of kindness send the story in an unexpected and more contemplative direction. Other readers, however, may feel that the plot slowly deflates. Ages 3-7. (Aug.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Big Brown Bear won't let Rat take one of his slippers for a bed. So Rat tries to trick him out of his slippers, but Bear is too clever for that. When Bear finds a racing car in a box in his closet while looking for his baseball, Rat thinks it is wonderful. Rat helps him find his baseball; Bear also finds an old slipper. Grateful Bear gives Rat the slipper and the car. Both are happy with the results. The simple tale is told in three chapters and printed in large type, so both beginning readers and listeners can enjoy the lesson in learning to get along. There is a warmth in the pen-and-ink and watercolor palette and a softness to the lines defining these very appealing anthropomorphic charmers. A double-page vista depicts their peaceful surroundings, while vignettes with minimal props create the sequence of events. This is the second book about Big Brown Bear. 2003, Harcourt, Ages 3 to 7.
— Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-K-A warm and gentle story. Big Brown Bear is at first cross with a rat that tries to appropriate one of his bedroom slippers to use as a bed, but he eventually extends the olive branch by inviting the rodent to stay for a meal. Bear then finds that he has unessential possessions that are perfectly suited to Rat's needs. Beautiful watercolor and pen-and-ink paintings make the most of the size difference between the characters and help to create real personalities by capturing the emotions they experience. The generous use of white space and varied page layouts with creative text placement add to the inviting feel of the book. Bear, in his nightshirt and nightcap, and surrounded by old-fashioned, wooden furniture, is the picture of coziness and security. The well-written text and memorable art make finding room on your shelves for one more story of friendship discovered worthwhile.-Faith Brautigam, Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin, IL Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
McPhail's worlds are so heartening and nourishing they might have just popped out of the kitchen stove. Big Brown Bear, as he's known, is a generous and kind ursine presence, yet one who will take no hanky-panky from Rat. Rat has his beady eye on 3B's slipper; it would make a comfy bed. Rat tries to abscond with the slipper, but 3B objects; he has 2 feet and needs 2 slippers. Then, for a touch of humor, McPhail dresses Rat as a door-to-door salesman offering free vacations, but no slippers allowed on the trip. No dice. Bears have a nose for scams. Later that day, after having filled Rat's belly with oatmeal and cream, 3B discovers a box full of forgotten stuff on his closet floor. Sure as shootin', there's an old slipper, just what the rat ordered. Caring, sharing, a little cross-species harmony-McPhail wears them all so lightly, caught with unsubtle gestures and the muted use of Old World color. (Picture book. 3-7)
From the Publisher

"The art is comfy; the text is clever. Young children will respond to the simple theme of friendship found."--Booklist

"McPhail's worlds are so heartening and nourishing they might have just popped out of the kitchen stove."--Kirkus Reviews

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Edition
Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 10.00(h) x (d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

DAVID McPHAIL is the creator of dozens of wonderful books, including Sisters, and several Green Light Readers. He lives in Rye, New Hampshire.

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Big Brown Bear's up and down Day 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Ohioan More than 1 year ago
This story is great for the adult who shares it with their child--and so rich for the child, too. Maybe it will open the door to sharing about good and not-so-good emotions that we all experience during our days. It also illustrates healthy problem-solving, as well as kindness and thoughtfulness for others, which 3, 4, and 5 year olds must learn.