Overview

All through the year, this shaggy, raggy, rumbly, bumbly bear faces down whatever comes his way: bee stings and scolding squirrels, cold rushing rivers and prickly bushes. And he does it all with a spring in his step and a smile on his face. There’s just one thing he can't abide. Luckily, he knows exactly what to do about it.
    
Season by season, Alice Schertle and Matt Phelan lead us ...

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Very Hairy Bear

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Overview

All through the year, this shaggy, raggy, rumbly, bumbly bear faces down whatever comes his way: bee stings and scolding squirrels, cold rushing rivers and prickly bushes. And he does it all with a spring in his step and a smile on his face. There’s just one thing he can't abide. Luckily, he knows exactly what to do about it.
    
Season by season, Alice Schertle and Matt Phelan lead us through a year in the life of a charming, resourceful, and quite hairy bear.

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Editorial Reviews

Elizabeth Ward
The prolific Schertle outdoes herself with the saga of a busy bear who doesn't care a hoot what happens to his nose…Matt Phelan's soft pastel-and-pencil illustrations are as playful and full of "aaaw" moments as the text.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

With snappy internal rhymes and pared-down illustrations, Schertle (All You Need for a Snowman) and Phelan (The New Girl... and Me) chronicle the yearly cycle of "a boulder-big bear with shaggy, raggy, brownbear hair everywhere... except on his no-hair nose." With his ultra-bushy coat to protect him and a naked nose to guide him, the bear happily eats his way from spring through fall: snapping up salmon from a river; raiding a honey-filled tree despite the bees; lolling in a blueberry patch, gobbling "the berries and the bushes, too" until his nose turns blue. Winter presents the one serious challenge to his untroubled sybaritic existence ("A very hairy bear DOES care about ice cold air on his no-hair nose"), but with a little ingenuity, that worry is put to bed-literally and figuratively. Phelan's easy-does-it, fluid draftsmanship on sepia-toned pages reflects the text's low-key humor, gaining energy from splashes of riveting color (the scene in the blueberry patch merits a look). It's fun to see the many ways the illustrator fits his beguiling behemoth of a hero onto a page or spread, always conveying the sense that the fellow is as cushy (and about as soigné) as an unmade king-size bed. Ages 3-7. (Sept.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 1
A large, brown bear has hair everywhere except for his nose. As the seasons change, readers witness his bold moves, with the hairless appendage leading the way. He dives into the cool water for salmon, pokes his nose into buzzing beehives, and ferrets out acorns in spite of scolding squirrels. It is when winter comes, and naptime nears, that the animal must find a way to cover up his bare nose. Schertle makes frequent use of interior rhymes and alliteration to move the action along, but there are a few awkward moments that interrupt the flow. So while Phelan's soft, muted close-ups, rendered in strong outlines with pastel and pencil, lend themselves to sharing with a group, readers will have to practice several times to achieve an effective delivery. It is worth the effort, however, to follow this droll creature through the year. The jolt of cobalt on the spread depicting the bear lolling in a blueberry patch provides a glorious contrast to the cream-colored background in a particularly delightful composition. Children will chuckle when the animal scratches his "bear behind" on a tree trunk before settling down for the winter. A fresh selection for storytimes on bears, hair, or hibernation.
—Wendy LukehartCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Outlined in a thick, curly halo of split ends, a "boulder-big bear with shaggy, raggy, brownbear hair everywhere . . . except on his no-hair nose" bounds happily through a seasonal round in this outdoorsy gambol. Schertle's patterned language sets up a playful cadence that Phelan captures perfectly in his soft-lined, buttery-yellow pastels. Whether splashing after salmon in spring, fearlessly sticking that no-hair nose into a bee tree in summer, lounging at purple-stained ease amid a patch of blueberry bushes or chowing down on a hoard of acorns as squirrels chatter angrily above, the portly protagonist positively radiates doggy good cheer. Until, that is, winter sets in-then it's time for a good scratch on a rough tree trunk and a sleepy retreat to a cave where "shaggy, raggy, very hairy bearpaws" can protect that sensitive nose from the cold wind. He's a bear of rare appeal, and it's hard to resist the urge to snuggle down next to him. (Picture book. 5-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547546285
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/1/2007
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,317,026
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • File size: 19 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

ALICE SCHERTLE is a well-known poet with many picture books to her credit, including Down the Road, illustrated by E. B. Lewis, and William and Grandpa, which won the Christopher Award. She lives in the Berkshires of Massachusetts.

MATT PHELAN is the illustrator of  The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron, The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs by Betty Birney and The New Girl . . . and Me by Jacqui Robbins. He lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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