Old Bear

( 11 )
Sending request ...

Overview

Come explore the four seasons with Old Bear

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Horn Book (starred review)
“Classically and timelessly simple…another winner for very young children.”
New York Times Book Review
“Kindergartens and preschool classes studying the seasons will no doubt embrace this book.”
Booklist (starred review)
“Elemental words and graceful pacing make this a perfect read-aloud for preschoolers.”
Horn Book
"Classically and timelessly simple…another winner for very young children."
Booklist
"Elemental words and graceful pacing make this a perfect read-aloud for preschoolers."
Horn Book (starred review)
“Classically and timelessly simple…another winner for very young children.”
New York Times Book Review
“Kindergartens and preschool classes studying the seasons will no doubt embrace this book.”
Booklist (starred review)
“Elemental words and graceful pacing make this a perfect read-aloud for preschoolers.”
Pamela Paul
…story and minimal text [are] finely pitched to a toddler's level…Exquisite.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

In time for autumn, Henkes (Kitten's First Full Moon) masterfully tells of a hibernating bear who "dreamed that spring had come and he was a cub again." Henkes's surefooted art guides readers through time: a terracotta dust jacket and acorn-brown frontpapers inked with dark brown leaves set the season. The tawny bear, pictured in full-page or four-to-a-page images, curls in his den, his eyes closed and his paws relaxed. Full-bleed spreads depict his dreams, first of being small among enormous flowers ("He took a nap in a giant pink crocus"), then of wandering on lush green summer hillsides ("The sky clouded over, and it rained blueberries"). His hibernation vision of fall includes rust-colored birds and orange fish, and his imaginary winter is a cool blue expanse under stars "of all colors." When the bear's eyes open on a real spring day, he feels refreshed, if larger and older than his dream self. Lyrically describing the young-at-heart, Henkes plays an artist's game of hot and cold watercolor hues. Lilac endpapers crowded with flowers and butterflies and a back cover image of the bear in springtime balance the cover's imagery and gently and calmly acknowledge the annual cycle. Ages 2-7. (Sept.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal

PreS-K

Henkes cleverly begins his story on the front jacket. Against a backdrop of red leaves and drifting snowflakes, a large and endearing molasses-colored bear, defined by sturdy dark brown lines, strides across the page. His journey continues through the opening spreads: it is obvious that this creature knows exactly where he is heading. By the time the story actually begins, Old Bear has found his den and lies sound asleep, oblivious to the swirl of winter around him. Dreams comfort him: once more a cub and surrounded by the colors of spring, he naps in a giant pink crocus. His dreams turn to summer where a daisy sun shines in the sky, leaves appear as butterflies, and clouds rain tasty blueberries. Old Bear dreams on through the seasons. Then, one day he awakens, stretches, and heads out into the real world where he is met with flowering trees, butterflies and tulips, and a glistening lake. Now, Old Bear is part of the wonder. As he did in Kitten's First Full Moon , Henkes has created a thoroughly delightful character filled with curiosity and sweetness and placed him in a simple tale that unfolds with a natural, rhythmical pace. And to fill out his cyclical story, the artist provides autumnal front endpapers and contrasting vernal back endpapers. Opportunities to introduce the seasons, colors, and animal hibernation abound. Old Bear will enrapture young listeners for years to come.-Barbara Elleman, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, MA

Kirkus Reviews
When Old Bear sleeps, he dreams of being a cub and of the changing seasons. When he wakens and steps out into the soft pastels of Henkes's spring, he does not feel the passage of time, and in expression and carriage he exudes youthfulness. Many careful choices are made in a book that only seems uncomplicated. As bears go, smiling Old Bear looks as friendly as the teddies children cherish. His benign but shaggy appearance will invite them to learn many concepts, in the gentlest and most implicit way: youth and age, hibernation and renewal, the passage of seasons. Watercolor-and-ink paintings are bright but delicately hued. Bear's bold outline changes with the palette of each season. His fanciful dreams, as well as the spring "reveal," are full bleed, double-page spreads while other illustrations are neatly framed, emphasizing the ursine bulk. Confident, harmonious and sweet. (Picture book. 2-6)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062089632
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/27/2011
  • Pages: 28
  • Sales rank: 804,146
  • Age range: Up to 2 years
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Kevin Henkes

Kevin Henkes is the author of Sun & Spoon, Bird Lake Moon, and the Newbery Honor Book Olive's Ocean. He also writes and illustrates picture books, and among his many titles are the national bestsellers My Garden, Old Bear, A Good Day, and Kitten's First Full Moon, for which he was awarded the Caldecott Medal. Mr. Henkes is also the creator of a series of books starring mouse characters, including Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, Lilly's Big Day, Wemberly Worried, Chrysanthemum, and Owen, for which he was awarded a Caldecott Honor.

Kevin Henkes lives with his family in Madison, Wisconsin.

Biography

Kevin Henkes still owns some of his favorite books from childhood. "They're brimming with all the telltale signs of true love: dog-eared pages, fingerprints on my favorite illustrations, my name and address inscribed on both front and back covers in inch-high lettering, and the faint smell of stale peanut butter on the bindings," he says in an interview on his web site.

Back in his peanut-butter sandwich days, Henkes dreamed of becoming an artist. By high school, he had combined his love of drawing with a newfound interest in writing, and at age 19, he took his portfolio to New York City in hopes of finding a publisher. Young Henkes returned home from his weeklong trip with a contract from Greenwillow Books, and he's worked as a children's writer and illustrator ever since.

Henkes's style has evolved over the years to include more humor, more whimsy and a lot more mice. Though he began illustrating his picture books with realistic drawings of children, he's since developed a recurring cast of mouse characters rendered in a more cartoon-like style -- though with a range of expressions that make the spirited Lilly, anxious Wemberly, fearless Sheila Rae and sensitive Chrysanthemum into highly believable heroines. Owen, the story of a little mouse who isn't ready to give up his tattered security blanket, won a Caldecott Honor Medal for its winsome watercolor-and-ink illustrations.

Many of Henkes's mouse books deal with such common childhood ordeals as starting school, being teased and getting lost. Chrysanthemum, about a mouse whose new schoolmates tease her about her name, was inspired by Henkes's own feelings when he started school. "The book is about family, and how starting something new and going out into the world can be very hard," he told an interviewer for The Five Owls. "I remember going to kindergarten -- my grandfather had a beautiful rose garden, and he gave me the last roses of the season to bring to the kindergarten teacher the next day. I don't even remember how it happened, but an older kid took these flowers from me on the playground, and I remember coming home, feeling awful." As a grown-up, Henkes is able to translate difficult childhood transitions into stories that are both honest and reassuring. In a review of Chrysanthemum, Kirkus Reviews noted: "Henkes's language and humor are impeccably fresh, his cozy illustrations sensitive and funny, his little asides to adults an unobtrusive delight."

Henkes has also written novels for older children, in which he "explores family relationships with breathtaking tenderness" (Publisher's Weekly). In The Birthday Room, for example, a twelve-year-old boy learns the reason for his mother's long estrangement from her brother, and helps effect a reconciliation. "Refreshingly, Henkes has given us a male protagonist who is reflective, creative and emotionally sensitive," wrote Karen Leggett in The New York Times Book Review. "Ben feels the anguish of his mother's long-simmering bitterness and his uncle's agonizing guilt. Yet at a time when it is almost a fad to blame dysfunctional families for problems, we learn that even though there are never simple answers and not many fairy-tale endings, families can heal."

Though his novels are more complex and serious than his picture books, all Henkes's works suggest an author with deep empathy for the intense emotions of childhood. As a Publisher's Weekly reviewer wrote, "Behind each book is a wide-open heart, one readers can't help but respond to, that makes all of Henkes's books of special value to children."

Good To Know

Henkes's wife, Laura Dronzek, is also an artist. She painted the cover illustration for Henkes' novel Sun and Spoon and illustrated his picture book Oh!.

Henkes has turned down requests to use his mouse characters in a television series, but some of his books are available in video form in Chrysanthemum and More Kevin Henkes Stories. The video's narrators include Meryl Streep, Sarah Jessica Parker and Mary Beth Hurt.

Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse has been adapted into a stage play.

Read More Show Less
    1. Hometown:
      Madison, Wisconsin
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 27, 1960
    2. Place of Birth:
      Racine, Wisconsin
    1. Education:
      University of Wisconsin, Madison
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 11, 2013

    I'm not a big fan of all Kevin Henkes' books, but, lately, his p

    I'm not a big fan of all Kevin Henkes' books, but, lately, his picture books have been astonishingly lovely. 
    Old Bear, like Kitten's First Full Moon, is a sweet, gentle tale, but unlike Kitten, Old Bear is at the end of his life and he dreams about becoming a cub again. He first dreams that Winter has passed into Spring and that he is sleeping inside a giant crocus. Kevin Henkes takes us through the rest of the seasons with the same amount of imagination, humor and brilliant-hued illustrations. Even the fly-leafs boast outstanding artwork. 
    After Kitten and Old Bear, I can't wait to read (and probably buy) his next picture book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 27, 2012

    This book was given to my son as a gift and we have delighted in

    This book was given to my son as a gift and we have delighted in reading this sweet tale ever since. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 30, 2010

    Wonderful book!

    My two year old loves this book. We read it again and again! It is a permanent fixture on our coffee table. Kevin Henkes always delivers a great read. "Kitten's First Full Moon" was my oldest son's favorite. I would recommend anything by this author!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Beautiful picture book!

    Kevin Henkes never disappoints. My two year old nephew was glued to the beautiful illustrations. A simple, but lovely portrayal of the four seasons.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2008

    Beatuiful, Peaceful Bears, the most beautiful on Earth.

    Bears are the most wonderful animals on Earth. They dream on Winter to be happy, as they are in Winter too, same as the rest of the year, sharing with their brothers.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)