The Ring Bear

( 8 )

Overview

Full of warmth and gentle humor, this is the story of Westley, an imaginative, precocious boy, and his struggle with the intrusion of an unwanted new stepdad into the happy, comfortable family he and his mother have formed. When Westley's mother announces her engagement to Stan and asks Westley to be the ?ring bear,? he feels confused, frustrated, and anxious about his changing family situation and his role in the wedding ceremony. Engaging his imagination, he envisions himself as a rascally bear who will wreak ...

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Overview

Full of warmth and gentle humor, this is the story of Westley, an imaginative, precocious boy, and his struggle with the intrusion of an unwanted new stepdad into the happy, comfortable family he and his mother have formed. When Westley's mother announces her engagement to Stan and asks Westley to be the “ring bear,” he feels confused, frustrated, and anxious about his changing family situation and his role in the wedding ceremony. Engaging his imagination, he envisions himself as a rascally bear who will wreak havoc during the ceremony and act out his mixed feelings about his mother and Stan. When his stepdad realizes the importance of Westley's imaginary world, he reveals his own sense of humor and fun by planning a special wedding treat for Westley that helps him transform himself into a willing ring bearer and stepson.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A sweet, charming, funny, tender book...It's not a "problem" story...it's a story any kid could enjoy."  —Orson Scott Card, bestselling author, Ender's Game 

"Truly touching...clever in dealing with children who have vivid imaginations."  —Allie Bates, MyShelf.com

"Highly recommended. Be sure to read this delightful tale."  —Mary M. Alward, Great Books for Kids, Suite 101.com

"Charming…tender...opens the door for parents and children to speak with each other about their own evolving families."  —Family Times Inc.com

"With humor and compassion, David Michael Slater gets at the heart of every child's worry and anger."  —Washington Parent

"This charming, original story will engage readers of all ages. It is a much-needed book for children [whose] parents are remarrying." —Children's Literature

"Disaster's averted in this picture book, which could be useful for youngsters unsure about a new stepparent."  —The Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Tells in child-friendly language a story of the very grown-up issue of blending families."  —Eclectic Homeschool.org

Children's Literature
This charming, original story will engage readers of all ages. It is a much-needed book for children [whose] parents...are remarrying.
Washington Parent
...with humor and compassion, author David Michael Slater gets at the heart of every child's worry and anger.
Akron Beacon Journal
S.G. Brooks' artwork is remarkable. The facial expressions...are wonderfully amusing.
Midwest Book Review
...captivating illustrations...tell of the struggle to bridge rifts of fear and mistrust with enduring love in this original, warmhearted, and highly recommended story.
Charlotte Parents' Magazine
...[a] delightful tale.
FamilyTimesInc.com
...a charming and tender tale...[that] opens the door for parents and children to speak with each other about their own evolving families.
Your Stepfamily Magazine of the Stepfamily Association of America
Addresses common stepfamily issues...and offers an imaginative and sensitive solution. It was a pleasure reading this - the text and illustrations are both lively, and work well together - as a successful illustrated book should!
MyShelf.com
Truly touching...clever in dealing with children who have vivid imaginations...
—Allie Bates
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Disaster's averted in this picture book, which could be useful for youngsters unsure about a new stepparent.
Children's Literature
Westley the Wicked and Mom the Mean are pretend pirates on the Seven Seas. However, one day, Mom asks Westley to be her ring bearer in her wedding to Stan. Westley misunderstands. He thinks Mom wants him to be a bear instead of a boy. So, Westley turns himself into a pretend bear. He pounces. He growls. He turns his room into a cave. Then the day of the wedding arrives. Mom asks Westley to turn himself into a boy who can carry the ring. But, Westley the bear is not so sure he wants Mom to marry Stan. After all Stan, would not play the pretend pirate game. Westley the bear begins the long walk down the aisle with ring in hand. As he walks, his bear suit drops away. His claws fall to the ground. Westley reaches Mom and Stan as himself, a boy with a ring. This charming, original story will engage readers of all ages. It is a much-needed book for children experiencing parents who are remarrying. Children will identify immediately with Westley the bear! 2004, Flashlight Press, Ages 4 to 8.
—Mindy Hardwick
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780972922517
  • Publisher: Flashlight Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2004
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.00 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

David Michael Slater is a seventh-grade language arts teacher and the author of Cheese Louise! He has written short stories that have appeared in Eureka, Pleiades, and Leviathan magazines and was named the Winner for New Talent in the Great American Book Contest, 2000. He lives in Portland, Oregon. S. G. Brooks is best known as one of the illustrators of Smokey the Bear. His work has appeared in Cricket magazine, The Washington Post, and The Natural Inquirer, and he illustrated The Three Armadillies Tuff. He lives in Washington, D.C.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2004

    Ring Bear

    Wow, what a fun and insightful story! My kids love it. The illustrations are outstanding-- striking and whimsical, they add depth the story. Not that the story needs it. It speaks to how children need time, support, love and imagination to deal with difficult changes, and how given those aids, they can come through with strength and resilience. It has as much to say to adults as to children. This is the second picture book by David Slater on my shelf, and I hope he has many more on the way soon! He teaches valuable lessons with humor and suspense, without being the slightest bit preachy. The Ring Bear gets an A+ from me!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2004

    Fabulous!

    Avast ye mateys! Join Captain Westley (the Wicked) on his voyage of adventure when he finds, to his great dismay, that his mother has plans to re-marry. Rollicking dialogue, masterful wit, and vivid illustrations take you on the voyage from Westley's reluctance to the eventual acceptance of this new pirate in his life. A must for any school library or family entering into a new marriage.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2004

    Ring Bear

    This is an amazing book. In a visually stirking way, the author has externalized a boy¿s struggle to deal with an impending family change. In Westley¿s eyes, he transforms into a rascally bear (i.e. he grows hair to fend off an intruding male). The layers are dizzying, but irrelevent to children, of course, who will simply love this story. Watch how Mom averts total disaster with an act of compasion so brilliantly illustrated by her first appearance in Westely¿s imaginative world. And watch Stan, the step-father-to-be getting on-board at the very last moment, quelling the mutiny once and for all. I expect both this author and illustrator are on the cusp of a major breakthrough.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2004

    A BEARY GREAT BOOK!!

    This book is an absolute gem. It's touching and sweet, and delivers a nuanced message¿but from inside an imaginative interior adventure story that will capture the attention of the most demanding child readers. I expect every single parent ready to re-marry to rush out to grab this book to help ease the transition for their children, but they better get in line behind us the rest of us who just want a beautiful book for our kids. The illustrations are stunning.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2004

    Ring Bear

    The Ring Bear gently and humorously shows a young child's confused and angry feelings about his mother's remarriage. It wonderfully portrays how the child only knows that he feels angry. He acts out his anger because the feelings are too complex for him to put into words. Great book for children, parents and therapists.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2004

    Ahoy matteys!

    A cute story that shows how easily children misinterpret what they hear. Children will connect with the pirate theme, the play on words and the rascally bear that Westley becomes. Delighful illustrations that reflect all of the emotions that Westley and his family go through.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2004

    Ring Bear

    I find it extremely important to buy books that not only entertain the little people in my life, but myself as well! David Slater's second book, The Ring Bear, is another excellent example of his ability to portray easily relatable experiences in an insightful and humorous manner, satisfying both children and adults. The Ring Bear and Cheese Louise now reside on my shelf, so when's the next one comming out?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2004

    Outstanding

    Having had first hand experience with the peculiar joys and challenges of being a step parent, I highly recommend this latest work by David Slater. The deft humor and perceptive insight into the world as seen through a child's eyes makes this fun reading even if you are not now or in the future considering step parenthood. Kudos also to SG Brooks for delivering in every way on the complexity offered by Slater's text. Slater has a great knack for delivering positive life lessons in a humorous way so that his work is both entertaining and educational. His first book, 'Cheese Louise', is one of the funniest picture books I've ever read but it also contained a charming message about self confidence. The Ring Bear also has genuine humor in it, but at the same time offers important insights on what can be very difficult times for both children and parents. The Ring Bear immediately assumes status as The Book to buy for a child whose parent is getting married. For parents, it is a great reminder of what the world looks like from a child's perspective. I know it has become a favorite around our house and I can't wait to see what Slater comes up with next. Whether for your own children or as a gift for someone else you will be glad you bought this book.

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