The Bear's Song

Overview

"Sweet" has new meaning in this richly illustrated, immersive picture book about two bears on a big-city adventure. Papa Bear is searching for Little Bear, who has escaped the den. Little Bear is following a bee, because where there are bees, there is honey! When the quest leads both bears into the bustling city and a humming opera house, theatrical hijinks ensue, culminating in a deliciously harmonious reunion. Children and parents alike will savor Benjamin Chaud's lush illustrations, and relish in the book's bonus seek-and-find elements. ...
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Overview

"Sweet" has new meaning in this richly illustrated, immersive picture book about two bears on a big-city adventure. Papa Bear is searching for Little Bear, who has escaped the den. Little Bear is following a bee, because where there are bees, there is honey! When the quest leads both bears into the bustling city and a humming opera house, theatrical hijinks ensue, culminating in a deliciously harmonious reunion. Children and parents alike will savor Benjamin Chaud's lush illustrations, and relish in the book's bonus seek-and-find elements.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 09/02/2013
In the Buster Keatonesque climax of this glorious romp from Chaud (Pomelo’s Opposites), Papa Bear takes a dive through some opera house scenery and lands in a crystal chandelier onstage, dangling above two very surprised singers. How did he get there? His son, Little Bear, has spent the book chasing a single bee in hopes of finding honey. Papa Bear, in turn, has been chasing Little Bear through one spread to the next, from their native forest (where Papa Bear’s presence starts an animal stampede) into the bustling streets of a French city (where almost no one notices him) and into the opera house. Though the song Papa Bear roars to the startled audience doesn’t go over well (“Wait a minute. Where is everyone going?”), he finds Baby Bear at last—and some honey, too. The hide-and-seek quality of the oversize spreads contributes much of the story’s fun—alert searchers can always find the bears and bee, but the riot of French life that surrounds them is just as entertaining. Closely and affectionately observed, Chaud’s tale bursts with joie de vivre. Bis! Ages 3–5. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
"A story to read over and over again."--Common Sense Media, five-star review

Notable Children's Books of 2013

New York Times Notable Book of 2013

Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Books of the Year

Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Books of 2013

"You could spend hours poring over the intricate illustrations."--Real Simple

"With its rich colors, heavy paper, and cosmopolitan locale, this is more than a seek-and-find book, and the story has a very sweet ending."--School Library Journal

"This is a book not to be missed. Encore!"--Booklist, starred review

"This extraordinary picture book. is as happy a surprise as finding a honey-filled hive at the end of a fur-raising journey."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Perfect for storytime."--Library Media Connection"Funny, busy scenes are full of delectable detail... deliciously sweet."--The New York Times

"Endless sweet delights."--Redbook

"Bursts with joie de vivre."-Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Beautifully illustrated, perfectly paced, and delightfully unexpected - readers will be rapt. Don't miss this."-- Travis Jonker, 100 Scope Notes, a School Library Journal Blog

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
While Papa Bear snores during his winter hibernation in the forest, Little Bear's thoughts of honey lead him to follow a bee. When Papa Bear wakes up, he runs after him and finds himself in the city. He chases Little Bear into the opera house and tumbles on to the stage. He decides to sing the Bear's Song, "a lullaby that all bears love." His roar frightens everyone away. Only Little Bear is left to applaud. Then he takes Papa Bear to see his surprise: beehives on the opera house roof. Both bears can enjoy the honey and hibernate happily together. This ornate fantasy overloads the large pages with details of the forest, the city, and its inhabitants. There is an extraordinary accumulation of living creatures; wildlife in the forest; diners in a fancy restaurant; actors preparing, etc. Everything is intricately decorated, from pillows to stairways. The end pages are honeycombs and busy bees, symbolizing the happy ending. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
09/01/2013
K-Gr 2—In this engaging, oversize picture book, Papa Bear is just settling down for winter when he realizes that Little Bear has run off. The cub is chasing a bee, first through the forest and then through a French metropolis. Papa Bear searches everywhere, finally catching sight of his son on the steps of the Opera House. But inside, now where did he go? Young readers will enjoy figuring out the answer as they search page by page for Little Bear and the bee. Each large spread features a scene filled with dozens of figures, many of which serve as decoys for Little Bear. What makes the watercolor and line illustrations even more fun are the humorous details, such as the two woodcutters who have scurried up a tree as Papa Bear runs past them in the forest. With its rich colors, heavy paper, and cosmopolitan locale, this is more than a seek-and-find book, and the story has a very sweet ending involving honey and Papa Bear's song. A pleasing choice for kids who just can't get enough Waldo, and even those who can.—Teri Markson, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2013-09-01
Hibernation is for grown-ups--Little Bear has adventure on his mind. In mad pursuit of a bee, Little Bear races through the forest, farther and farther away from his snoozing, cave-bound father: "Little Bear is too caught up in honey thoughts to hear winter's whisper. A busy sort of buzzing beckons him instead." Eagle-eyed readers can track the bear and bee all the way to Paris from the French countryside, devouring the hundreds of fanciful details that populate each gorgeous, oversized, double-page spread. When Papa Bear wakes up and sees his errant cub is missing, he too dashes off, eventually ending up at the Opéra Garnier and--oo la la!--even finding his voice onstage: "Grooooaaaarrrr!" Minidramas unfold by the square inch on delicious curry-, paprika- and olive-colored pages--cloaked and shifty-eyed lurkers, a mysterious lady with a poodle, a monkey-hatted child. Even in the Opéra's exquisitely rendered architectural flourishes lurk images of forest beasts, and the honeycomb endpapers aptly flank the busy visual hive within. The playful, poetic text--brilliantly translated from the original French--hums along as nature and culture stylishly collide: "Now where could that bee and that Little Bear be?" This extraordinary picture book, first published in France as Une chanson d'ours (2011), is as happy a surprise as finding a honey-filled hive at the end of a fur-raising journey. (Picture book. 2-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781452114248
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC
  • Publication date: 9/17/2013
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 117,155
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 14.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Benjamin Chaud is a well-known French author and illustrator whose work includes picture books and a CD for children. He lives in the Southeast of France.
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