When a young bear finds a scrap of an old letter, he is so curious about the mysterious marks that he searches out their source—a cabin in the woods. There he meets a young woman and is mesmerized by the sound of her voice. Though he cannot understand her words, he returns every day to hear the woman's stories of sailors, goddesses, and far-off lands.
Dennis Haseley's magical fantasy and Jim LaMarche's luminous illustrations together celebrate the joy of reading.
|Publisher:||Houghton Mifflin Harcourt|
|Product dimensions:||8.10(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.40(d)|
|Age Range:||4 - 7 Years|
About the Author
DENNIS HASELEY has written many fine books for children, including the acclaimed Kite Flier and The Old Banjo. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
JIM LAMARCHE is the illustrator of Albert, which Publishers Weekly called, in a starred review, "a magical marriage of art and text." He lives in Santa Cruz, California.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I red this book aloud to a second-grader when she was tired during her tutoring hour, and she cuddled up and listened attentively. At the end she sighed and said: That was a LOVELY story! It is an all-ages book for book lovers. The illustrations are magically beautiful.
Bears can't understand language. Or can they? In this gentle fantasy, a bear finds a letter in the woods, puzzles over its markings and brings it to his cave; he's tantalized by it. When he meets a woman reading books in the woods by her cabin, they begin an unusual friendship. She reads to him daily. 'All the words she read made a story. A story for her bear.' And when she departs for the winter, she leaves her books behind for her friend, who takes them, one by one, to his cave. He's soothed by them during the long winter months - no mention of hibernating; this is a fantasy. 'And while he slept, he heard her voice, gentle and near. She was telling him a tale of adventure, and magic, and love. And...before she came back in the spring, whenever he put his nose to the pages or touched the covers with his claws, she was there.' The story is haunting, but it's the illustrations that imbue the tale with such power and grace. The bear is adorable. The pine woods are lovely. This book does what good storybooks do: transport the reader to another place. You can smell the pine straw on the forest floor, imagine the roughness of the bear's coat, feel the chill in the autumn air. Best of all, you feel the strong bond between the book's two characters. Those who enjoy A Story For Bear might also enjoy another beautifully illustrated picture book: Ruby Lee the Bumble Bee - A Bee's Bit of Wisdom. It concerns a young girl uncertain of her abilities who finds encouragement and friendship from a bumble bee. Books like A Story For Bear and Ruby Lee The Bumble Bee teach that friendship can come in many forms.
With soft illustrations evoking warm memories of lazy days in the woods, this is a heartwarming tale of the friendship between a young woman and a bear based on their shared love of books. Written from the bear¿s perspective, it is easy to draw analogies between the bear and young children. Both may not be able to read, but both can grow to love books when they are read aloud to them on a regular basis. Here, the bear becomes intrigued watching he young woman reading to herself in the woods day after day. Slowly coming closer, she notices him and begins reading her books aloud to him and he moves ever closer developing a love of her stories. The book¿s only flaw is the inclusion of a letter to the woman from her parents at the beginning and end. It adds little and complicates the otherwise simple plot line. But, LaMarche¿s superb, acrylic paint and colored pencil illustrations are flawless. He brilliantly captures the natural beauty of the forest in summer and fall, the loving expressions of the young woman, and the gentle, curious character of the bear. Recommended for ages 5 to 10 and highly recommended for those that are book and/or nature lovers.
This was a beautifully written and illustrated book. I cried as I read the words on the page in the bookstore. The woman and bear make such an emotional bond through the use of reading. This is what we try to convey to our children and students when we read aloud to them, reading for the love of it. I have worked with a large group of third graders who I will also be working with next year in fourth grade. This will be a great send off for the summer to inspire the children to read what they love. This is a must for any teacher to have.