The Bear and the People

The Bear and the People


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The Bear and the People by Reiner Zimnik

"Well, there was a man once, and he had a bear . . ." begins this story about a life long friendship between man and beast. The Bearman and the bear understand each other. Together they travel all over the country, "a part of the highway like the knotty old apple trees and whitehorn bushes," as they go from village to village, where they play music and juggle and dance and the children are always happy to see them. At night they sleep in the open, and before they do the Bearman tells a story and plays a beautiful melody on his horn for the bear and for God, a melody so beautiful that all the animals in the forest raise their heads and the leaves themselves stop rustling and listen.

And yet the Bearman and the bear have enemies: the jealous members of the Duda family, who are thieves and tricksters; and even more than that, the dogs. And when the Bearman dies, the bear must retreat into the wilderness for safety—until, after many adventures, he meets a new friend: a boy.

The Bear and the People is a lovely parable of friendship and courage and reverence for the natural world. It is a tale that is as exciting as it is touching and profound, and it will delight children and parents alike.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781590170496
Publisher: New York Review Books
Publication date: 04/05/2003
Series: New York Review Children's Collection Series
Pages: 78
Product dimensions: 7.10(w) x 8.75(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

Reiner Zimnik was born in Poland and began drawing—horses and knights, mostly—at the age of five. At the end of the Second World War, he and his family left for the West, settling in Germany. After apprenticing as a cabinet-maker, Zimnik studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, and has since written and illustrated many books for children, including The Bear on the Motorcycle and The Crane. About himself he says, “I love nature, the simple life, and ordinary people. I like eating and drinking, and have a tendency toward idleness and daydreaming.”

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