Henry Bear's Christmas

Henry Bear's Christmas

by David McPhail
     
 

Henry Bear loves everything about Christmas, but most of all he loves having a fine tree, beautifully decorated, with presents underneath and good friends all around. However, when Henry Bear and his best friend, Stanley, head off to town to find the perfect tree, nothing at the farm stand or at the school yard meets Henry's approval. No, the only tree perfect enough…  See more details below

Overview

Henry Bear loves everything about Christmas, but most of all he loves having a fine tree, beautifully decorated, with presents underneath and good friends all around. However, when Henry Bear and his best friend, Stanley, head off to town to find the perfect tree, nothing at the farm stand or at the school yard meets Henry's approval. No, the only tree perfect enough for Henry is the one being raffled off by the church. Henry is positive that the tree is meant to be his -- so positive that he spends all of his money buying raffle tickets, but Stanley is worried. What will they do if they don't win the raffle?

More than twenty-five years after first introducing Henry Bear to children everywhere with Henry Bear's Park, acclaimed illustrator David McPhail returns once again to Henry Bear's world with an endearing new story about the true meaning of Christmas.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
David McPhail's cub protagonist returns in Henry Bear's Christmas. As Henry and his friend Stanley search for the perfect tree, they stumble upon the meaning of Christmas. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Henry Bear loved Christmas: the presents, the food, the singing and sleigh rides, and most especially, the Christmas tree. On the first of December, he convinces his raccoon friend, Stanley, that it is time to look for the perfect tree. A scrawny tree catches Stanley's eye but Henry says it won't do. Then he finds the tree of his dreams. It will be raffled off by the church. Henry buys as many tickets as he can (twelve) and returns home certain that he will win. Just before the vicar arrives to announce the winner, Henry leaves to get a doughnut. While he is gone, his number is drawn. Stanley goes to find him, but they return too late. Another number is drawn and someone else is taking the tree home. Not only does he lose the tree, but Henry soon learns they have no money to buy Christmas dinner, for Stanley used it to buy more raffle tickets. All ends well as Henry learns the importance of friends, that a tree doesn't have to be perfect, and that mom comes through to save the day. Human and animal characters interact in snowy village scenes created in pen, ink and watercolor. A warm and cozy feeling emits from the indoor scenes of Henry and Stanley's tree house. A nice addition to the Christmas book shelf. 2003, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Ages 4 to 7.
— Sharon Salluzzo
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Henry Bear's favorite thing about Christmas is the tree, but finding one that meets his high standards is a challenge. After rejecting his friend Stanley's choice, he learns that the church is raffling off a beauty and he spends all of his tree money on tickets. Then he runs to the doughnut shop for cocoa, and he isn't there to claim his prize when his number is drawn. Rather than being disappointed, the friends make do with the scrawny tree that Stanley has favored all along. McPhail's storytelling skill is well matched by his glowing pen, ink, and watercolor artwork. Wintry scenes harken back to a simpler time when knickers, vests, and caps were in fashion. The facial expressions of even the most minor characters are so revealing of an emotional inner life that it seems not at all fantastical for animals and humans to be interacting in the same little village. Suitable for reading aloud, this endearing picture book stresses the nonmaterial joys of the season.-L. I. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The characters from Henry Bear's Park (1976) return for a Christmas adventure that centers on a raffle to win a perfectly shaped Christmas tree. Henry wants to win the raffle; his friend Stanley the raccoon wants to buy a scraggly, inexpensive tree. Henry and Stanley spend all their funds (including their grocery money) on raffle tickets, and Henry actually holds the winning ticket, but he loses the prize tree because he's off eating doughnuts at the time of the drawing. They end up with the scrawny tree after all, given to them because no one else wants it, and the little tree looks just fine when decorated. Momma Bear brings them a basket of goodies to eat, so their holiday celebration is a simple but happy one. McPhail's charming illustrations in pen-and-ink with watercolor are filled with old-fashioned details and amusing expressions on the faces of the two best friends. The subtle message of the futility of chasing after a perfect Christmas tree has wider implications, contrasting well with the pair's firm friendship and their quiet, meaningful holiday. (Picture book. 5-8)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780689821981
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
10/01/2003
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
9.59(w) x 10.92(h) x 0.43(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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