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Mina and the Bear

Mina and the Bear

by Sabine Jorg, Alexander Reichstein (Illustrator)

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Mina longs for a teddy bear until the doctor tells her a story that makes her feel better even without one.


Mina longs for a teddy bear until the doctor tells her a story that makes her feel better even without one.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Carol Collins
Like all good fairy tales, this fantasy appears simple on the surface but reverberates with deeper meanings. The subtle but insightful picture book tells a psychological story about a girl who wants a teddy bear but whose family does not value her wishes. When Mina falls ill (from heart sickness), the wise doctor tells her how a bear came to be his grandfather. This medicinal story heals Mina who no longer needs a play teddy bear (though her mother, father, and aunt each give her one for her birthday) but whose imagination turns her family, doctor, and herself into a contented bear group eating blueberries and cake at her party. The lovely violet book jacket shows Mina looking into a shiny mirror and seeing her true "bear" image, and the wonderful monochromatic full-page portraits of family members throughout the book prepare the reader for the bear transformation. The doctor's story is set apart on brown-textured paper with sketchy, dreamy illustrations and is written in longhand. The mixture of printing and longhand should be educational for early readers and writers, and the intertwined tales should enrapture all little ones. It could lead to discussions of important issues of identity, fairness, and coping. First published in Switzerland under the title Mina und Bär.
Feminist Book Store News
Although I've only seen about half of the publisher's Spring juvenile lists, there are at least four new, longer picture books for the 5-9 crowd that I'd like to recommend, and three of them feature girls. From North-South, an original and enchanting story by German author Sabine Jorg, Mina and the Bear, illustrated by Alexander Reichstein, uses a story within a story told by a kindly old doctor to create a picture book about teddy bears. (Feminist Book Store News)
Kirkus Reviews
A book-within-a-book device marks Jörg's import from Switzerland, which sends readers into a strange, enchanted fantasy world where a grown bear marries a young woman. Mina desperately wants a teddy bear; she falls ill when she doesn't receive the toy. Dr. Rooney is called in on the case, and offers solace in the form of a story he tells; he suggests that he is the descendant of a bear. The story moves from Mina's bedside to Dr. Rooney's tale, set in a forested land of bears, one of whom happens to be his own grandfather. Here the glossy pages fade to a matte brown, the script turns into an old-fashioned italic, and the book must be turned on its side to be read. After the story, Mina receives a toy mama bear, papa bear, and baby bear for her next birthday, but she no longer needs them: Mina imagines herself as a bear, part of one happy bear family, thanks to the doctor. This small flight of fancy is movingly conveyed in the illustrations, which show all of Mina's family, formerly humans, as bears. Mysterious, but lovely. (Picture book. 5-8)

Product Details

North-South Books, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.81(w) x 11.59(h) x 0.42(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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Meet the Author

Neugebauer received a degree in speech communication from California State University, Fullerton. She has taught at the American School in Shanghai, China and at the American International School in Salzburg, Austria.

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