Used-Up Bearby Clay Carmichael
In this poignant sequel to "Bear at the Beach", Bear doesn't think that Clara will love him anymore now that he's old and faded. Full color.
Children's Literature - Dori ButlerThis is a delightful story about a stuffed bear who has been loved so much that he's afraid he'll soon be used up. When his best friend Clara goes to bed, he sleeps on the sofa so he won't "use up" any sooner. But the other stuffed animals make fun of him and warn him of what will happen when he's all used up. Then the unthinkable happens. Clara leaves the house without him. Not knowing what else to do, Bear sneaks out to the garbage and waits to be hauled away. But Clara has a surprise for Bear. The illustrations are simple, but appealing. The publisher claims the story is for six to eight year olds, but I think children as young as three can appreciate this story - particularly children who have a much-loved toy like Bear.
School Library JournalPreS-Gr 1--Poor Bear looks in the mirror one day and notices that his white fur no longer shines, his button nose keeps falling off, one of his eyes is loose, and he is losing stuffing out of his back. He laments, "Pretty soon I'll be all used up...A worn-out, used-up bear." The sofa animals, those with new fur and solidly stuffed bodies, taunt Bear, leading him to believe that Clara will soon throw him away in favor of one of them. In the end, however, the child surprises her beloved bear with a bright red flannel suit to protect his well-loved body. This is a delightful, easy-to-read story about the strong bond that children share with a special stuffed animal or toy. The pen-and-ink illustrations are awash with soft pastels in gentle lavenders and serene blues, adding to the narrative's warmth. Use it with Barbara Douglass's Good As New (Mulberry, 1989) or as a springboard to Rebecca Caudill's even more beautiful story of love and understanding, The Best Loved Doll (Holt, 1997). All three titles belong in any children's collection.--Lisa Gangemi Krapp, Sousa Elementary School, Port Washington, NY
Kirkus ReviewsThis story of a well-loved, fraying stuffed toy features a protagonist suffering heartbreaking sadness and misery. An endearing stuffed bear takes stock of his deterioration and has childlike fears that he will soon be discarded. The terrors of being in the basement, tossed in a thrift-shop sale, or becoming a dust rag overwhelm him. During Bear's efforts to avoid becoming more worn, the newer stuffed toys cruelly predict his fate. Readers will be riveted; Bear's anxiety is almost unbearable, so he goes to the garbage can, to wait to be picked up. His owner, Clara, retrieves him and produces a splendid red suit, designed to preserve and protect him. Carmichael (Bear at the Beach, 1996) strikes a chord with children or anyone else who has kept quiet about a source of fear. The spare illustrations present clean, focused scenes; each one highlights the crucial emotion or situation portrayed. In candy colors of blue, lilac, and yellow, the pictures realize all the frightening possibilities a bear can dream up. A joyous ending, in which Bear admires himself "all morning in the mirror," brings great relief, as well as a message of love and loyalty. (Picture book. 5-8)
Write a Review
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >