Contrary Bear

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Overview

A little girl blames her contrary behavior on her best friend, Bear. It's Bear who throws sand in the playground. It's Bear who wants a big piece of cake, not a small one. And it's Bear who certainly does not want to be quiet during naptime. After an entire day of naughtiness, the little girl realizes that Bear has gone too far . . . and her attempts to make amends result in a grateful kiss from her beleaguered dad. But once Dad leaves the room...
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Overview

A little girl blames her contrary behavior on her best friend, Bear. It's Bear who throws sand in the playground. It's Bear who wants a big piece of cake, not a small one. And it's Bear who certainly does not want to be quiet during naptime. After an entire day of naughtiness, the little girl realizes that Bear has gone too far . . . and her attempts to make amends result in a grateful kiss from her beleaguered dad. But once Dad leaves the room . . .

A blissfully mischievous story sure to strike a chord with contrary bears, contrary bear owners, and contrary bear parents.

After she sees how upset her father has become, a little girl who blames her bad behavior on her stuffed bear tells her father that the bear will try to act better.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1A playful take on the ordinary but vexing problems of a parent/child relationship that echoes Helen Oxenbury's "Pippo" books (S & S), but takes the idea a step further. It's Contrary Bear who won't put on his shoes, read quietly at naptime, stop splashing during bathtime, etc., and poor dad must negotiate not only with his willful child, but with her bear as well. The first-person narration is clever, and Cornell's lively, watercolor-and-ink illustrations are a humorous counterpoint to the text, giving Contrary Bear as much personality as the story does. With her round-faced, button-eyed look, the narrator is portrayed with humor and energy. As Root demonstrated in The Old Red Rocking Chair (Arcade, 1992), she can take a seemingly ordinary theme and give it a new twist. Here, she tells an all-too-familiar story with humor and flair.Jane Marino, Scarsdale Public Library, NY
Susan Dove Lempke
Parents and children alike will recognize the way the characters in this book feel, as a little girl's stuffed animal bear, dubbed Contrary Bear by her dad, refuses to cooperate. Bear argues over putting on shoes, throws cake on the floor when the piece is too tiny, makes only "loud" train whistles, and gets into plenty of trouble till bedtime rolls around. The interaction between Bear and an increasingly irate dad will have kids laughing out loud, especially given Cornell's expressive illustrations. In both the words and the watercolors, this captures the irresistible pleasures of being naughty and of being forgiven at the end of a hard day.
Kirkus Reviews
A small girl narrates this book; her best friend is Bear, called Contrary Bear by her father for always doing the opposite of what he instructs. Contrary Bear wreaks household havoc and makes an enemy of Dad, but all is patched up in the end. Root (Coyote and the Magic Words, 1993, etc.) imbues the narrator with a highly expressive voice, characterized by understated irony; readers will be quick to see the link between Contrary Bear's behavior and that of the girl. Cornell illustrates with reliably zany cartoons; the bear is fully complicit in (and occasionally prime mover to) all the antics, with a fierce march and a sense of humor—in fact, he's crazy. His facial expressions in particular are hilarious and the little girl who loves him is a charmer.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060250850
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/28/1996
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.26 (w) x 10.33 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2000

    I loved this book as much as my niece did!

    This book has become a favorite of mine and my niece. I used to have to read it to her everytime I visited, but now she 'reads' it to me! She doesn't know how to read, but she loves the book so much and we have had to read it to her so much that she has learned every word of the book. She now enjoys 'reading' the book to others! This book was definitely a GREAT buy for us!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2000

    My favorite read-aloud

    This is the story of a naughty -- nay, contrary -- bear and the little girl who loves him. The illustrations are playful and the characters' faces -- especially Bear's -- are very expressive. I love to read this out loud, especially the parts where Bear is noisy when Dad wants him to be quiet, and when Bear makes the train sound 'To-whoo-whoo!' Kids will enjoy it, and adults will enjoy reading it to them.

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