The Bear in the Book
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The Bear in the Book

by Kate Banks, Georg Hallensleben
     
 

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It's time for bed, and a little boy chooses his favorite book for his mother to read to him. The bear in the book is preparing for his own deep slumber, hibernating through the winter while humans and other animals explore the snowy landscape around him. Just when the bear wakes up to greet the spring, the boy drifts off to sleep. Kate Banks' soft and rhythmic text

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Overview

It's time for bed, and a little boy chooses his favorite book for his mother to read to him. The bear in the book is preparing for his own deep slumber, hibernating through the winter while humans and other animals explore the snowy landscape around him. Just when the bear wakes up to greet the spring, the boy drifts off to sleep. Kate Banks' soft and rhythmic text is brought to life by Georg Hallensleben's strong, expressive paintings in this bedtime read that will carry young readers through the seasons.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review
In The Bear in the Book, readers are in the hands of two masters—Banks with her well-chosen words and Hallensleben with his lush, color-saturated paintings.
—Anita Silvey
Publishers Weekly
In an extraordinary portrait of the tender, meandering, and inquisitive nature of reading together, a boy and his mother read a book about a hibernating bear, turning the pages slowly and commenting on the illustrations—it’s clearly an old favorite. “ ‘Winter settled like a big hush,’ read the boy’s mother. ‘And the big black bear slept.’ ‘Shh,’ said the boy.” The illustrations in the bear book intersect with the images of the mother and son, as though readers are reading alongside them; early on, readers peer over their heads, moving closer in subsequent spreads until the two books seem, now and again, to become one. Thickly stroked paintings and warm colors create a sense of richness, while slow pacing contributes to the sleepy atmosphere. As spring approaches and the bear in the book wakes up, the boy grows sleepier. Banks and Hallensleben (whose most recent collaboration was What’s Coming for Christmas?) allow readers to share fully in the pleasure of a loving parent-child relationship. This is, quite literally, what reading with a child is all about. Ages 3–6. (Oct.)
From the Publisher

“Coziness pervades every inch of 'The Bear in the Book,' a bedtime story by Kate Banks filled with Georg Hallensleben's sumptuously soft paintings. Words and images work together to create a marvelous Russian-doll effect: The person reading this book to a child is also, through the mother in the book, reading a story about a bear to a boy in the book--as well as telling the story of the hibernating bear. All three tales come to an end virtually simultaneously; the effect is enchanting.” —The Wall Street Journal

“In ‘The Bear in the Book,' readers are in the hands of two masters--Banks with her well-chosen words and Hallensleben with his lush, color-saturated paintings.” —The New York Times

“With its quiet, gentle tone, this is perfect for one-on-one bedtime reading as well as for introducing hibernation, sleep cycles, and seasonal change, but the engaging, double-spread pictures will please crowds, too.” —Booklist, starred

“As with previous bedtime books by these fine collaborators, short simple sentences create a tranquil, soothing air, while the lush textured oil paintings fill the pages with dense color. But the most valuable thing about this gem might be that it demonstrates a best practice, to the benefit of children and parents alike.” —School Library Journal, starred

“This is, quite literally, what reading with a child is all about.” —Publishers Weekly, starred

“A tribute to the power of books to connect and the love that parents everywhere show when they share books with children at the end of the day, this picture book is simply spectacular.” —Kirkus, starred

“This would of course make a fine bedtime story; it might also be interesting to use as a catalyst for discussion about the love of books and reading.” —BCCB

School Library Journal
PreS—In this deceptively simple bedtime story, a boy snuggles up with his mother to read his favorite book. It is about a bear going to sleep for the winter, and together they look at the pictures and talk about the text. "'Do bears really sleep all winter long?' asked the boy." He turns the page and notices the snow. "'Snow is cold,' he said." His mother reads some more about the sleeping bear, and animals in winter, and children gliding across the ice on a frozen lake. "'I'd like to skate,' said the boy." Page by page, the bear sleeps while life goes on around him, but this book is about much more than that. With great subtlety, this mother and child are modeling the perfect way to share a picture book, cuddling up and allowing time to examine the pictures, talk about the concepts, and point out the known and unknown. Actions in the book within the book are internalized by the boy, demonstrating a fundamental aspect of reading comprehension: "A fox drank from a pond. 'I'm thirsty,' said the little boy." As with previous bedtime books by these fine collaborators, short simple sentences create a tranquil, soothing air, while the lush textured oil paintings fill the pages with dense color. But the most valuable thing about this gem might be that it demonstrates a best practice, to the benefit of children and parents alike.—Teri Markson, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
Banks and Hallensleben are together again (What's Coming for Christmas? 2009, etc.) with a heartwarming tale that compares one bear's hibernation to one little boy's bedtime-reading rituals. With a dreamlike quality appropriate to a nightly bedtime story, this captures the feel of falling asleep. Cuddled up against his mama, the boy turns the pages, comments on the colors, asks questions and talks to the bear that is the subject of the book. He hushes the bear, touches his paw, notices the changes in the bear's environment and identifies with the sleeping bear. Hallensleben's paintings, filled with thick brush strokes, abstract backdrops and cold colors for the outside scenes and rich oranges and reds for the mama and son, lull readers along with the boy into that relaxed time between waking and sleeping. "The boy held the book. He listened to the sound the pages made when he turned them back and forth." And, just as the bear's springtime world is turning green and yellow, the little boy slips into the blue world of his own short, one-night hibernation. A tribute to the power of books to connect and the love that parents everywhere show when they share books with children at the end of the day, this picture book is simply spectacular. (Picture book. 3-7)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781466822436
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
10/16/2012
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
36
File size:
19 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
3 - 6 Years

Meet the Author

Author Kate Banks and illustrator Georg Hallensleben have collaborated on several books, including And If the Moon Could Talk, winner of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, The Cat Who Walked Across France, Close Your Eyes, and The Night Worker, winner of the Charlotte Zolotow Award. Banks lives in the South of France with her husband and two sons. Hallensleben lives in Paris with his wife and three children.


Kate Banks has written many books for children, among them Max’s Words, And If the Moon Could Talk, winner of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, and The Night Worker, winner of the Charlotte Zolotow Award. She grew up in Maine, where she and her two sisters and brother spent a lot of time outdoors, and where Banks developed an early love of reading. “I especially liked picture books,” she says, “and the way in which words and illustrations could create a whole new world in which sometimes real and other times magical and unexpected things could happen.” Banks attended Wellesley College and received her master's in history at Columbia University. She lived in Rome for eight years but now lives in the South of France with her husband and two sons, Peter Anton and Maximilian.


What can I say about me? That I was born in 1958 in a German town called Wuppertal and that I have two sisters. That I didn't like to go to school because I thought it was terribly boring and I preferred riding my bicycle in the woods, and drawing the landscapes I encountered.
I made drawing after drawing in the forest and in Bonn, the city where I lived, carrying with me on my bike a wooden case with all my art supplies inside: pens, inks, and watercolors, as well as a very small folding chair, so small that every time I got up after sitting on it for an hour my legs had completely fallen asleep, and I stumbled like an idiot, unless there was a fence to grab on to!

Even on vacations with my parents, I passed my time filling sketchbooks and sheets of paper with drawings and watercolors. For me it has always been the most natural thing to do. Almost all children draw, and, encouraged by my parents, I just never stopped.

The same year I finished school, I had my first solo exhibition in a gallery in Zurich, Switzerland. I had written a letter to an Austrian draftsman whose drawings I admired, Paul Flora, and he answered me with an incredibly friendly letter, along with a set of drawing pens, and even a drawing "just for demonstration." He showed my watercolors to his Swiss editor and gallery owner, and I received a letter just as my family was leaving on vacation, asking if I had ever exhibited, and if I would like to do so. I remember waiting hours for the right moment to show my parents the letter. I was so proud.

Soon after finishing school, I went to live in Italy, in Rome. I started drawing and painting more seriously there, and began showing my paintings. I met Kate Banks, who had already published several books she had written. I had always loved the idea of doing illustrations for children's books, and I had written a very simple story of my own, doing new versions of illustrations over and over for the same text. I had showed this at the children's book fair in Bologna, Italy, to a French publisher who seemed to like my illustrations. The story was set in the jungle, and when Kate saw the illustrations, she told me she had written a text that was also set in the jungle, and she asked me if I wouldn't like to try to do some illustrations for her story, which was called Baboon.

Since then we have created three picture books together. I really like to have someone to show my illustrations to, someone who asks me things like "Why don't you draw the lizard a little bigger?"

I always find it difficult to judge my own drawings, so each day when my fiancée, Anne, comes home from her work, she looks at what I've done. When she likes my work, I am happy, because her opinion is almost always right.

I always make many versions of the same illustrations and am lucky to have an editor who will call a halt to this, because a book eventually has to be printed. I always have technical problems, I think because I enjoy having them when I start to see how a certain paint works on a certain type of paper, I change them to see how a different combination might work. Thus I am hardly ever content with what I have done, and the moment a book is published I think what I could have done to make it better!

I lived in Rome, with some interruptions, for about twenty years. Last year, I moved to Paris, where I now live with Anne, and too many cats.

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