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Baby Bear Hardcover – January 7, 2014

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Balzer + Bray (January 7, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062241729
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062241726
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 0.2 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,253 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Children's Book of the Month, January 2014: Kadir Nelson’s beautiful illustrations take readers to the woods in this sweet story of a little bear trying to find his way home. Though he is lost, Baby Bear is never really alone as he crosses paths with other animals of the forest who offer sage advice and reassurance. There is laughter and tears, but ultimately a return to the lush landscape of home. Baby Bear shines as a calming picture book tale of kindness and learning to trust ourselves. --Seira Wilson

Behind the Scenes of Baby Bear by Kadir Nelson.

BabyBear Baby Bear was inspired by multiple sources, but there is one in particular that stands out. I remember sitting at the Newberry-Caldecott awards banquet and listening to Laura Amy Schlitz deliver her acceptance speech. She spoke beautifully about an imaginary bear that confronted her in a moonlit clearing in the forest. In addition to her brilliant story, I couldn't get the image out of my head. I thought I'd really love to paint it one day. I knew that when the idea to write and illustrate Baby Bear came about, I would save a special spot for an important meeting by moonlight. And thus, Baby Bear meets dear Owl.

BabyBear While exploring the scene with dear Owl, I remembered being on the big island in Hawaii and gazing up at the starry heavens. The stars were so bright, the sky a deep indigo blue, and the Milky Way so clear. It didn't seem real. I felt as though each star was so close I could reach out and touch it. I felt so loved by and connected to them. It was this feeling I wanted to capture for Baby Bear as Owl tells him, "You only need look up and keep going. You will find your way home."

BabyBear I wanted Frog to be kind of a Yogi who was a bit cranky. Baby Bear interrupts his peaceful state and it makes Frog a little crabby. However, Frog still imparts a little wisdom to Baby Bear. "Trust yourself. You will find your way home."

BabyBear My sketches are generally very loose. Like a stage performer, I like to save a bit for the final performance. Here dear Ram helps light the way for Baby Bear as he stands atop a hill with the full moon framing his stately figure. He tells Baby Bear to "sing a song" to help him get out of his sorrowful mood. It's a great way lift yourself up, to "climb a little higher," as the Ram says.

From School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 1—A glorious full moon illuminates a blue-black wilderness as a scared and lost Baby Bear seeks his way home. He deferentially asks various animals for help. Each creature offers a different suggestion on how to find his home. Some of the advice is practical as Mountain Lion tells him to "retrace your steps," some of it is silly as the squirrels suggest that he "hug a tree," and some is just clichéd as Moose says, "listen to [your] heart. It speaks as softly and sweetly as a gentle breeze. And it is never wrong." Salmon is the last one to help Baby Bear, swimming with the cub and then instructing him to climb up and see his home at last. Relieved, the little bear beholds a splendid sunrise over the river valley, the same view as depicted in the front endpapers of the book, but now bathed in light. Most young children equate "home" with "family," and the fact that no other bears appear is disconcerting. Nelson's luscious oils on canvas are as breathtaking as ever, and his superb, almost life-sized, depictions of these creatures in their natural environment hold a wonder of their own. Unfortunately, the saccharine narrative and less-than-satisfying resolution make Baby Bear an additional purchase at best.—Yelena Alekseyeva-Popova, formerly at Chappaqua Library, NY

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Customer Reviews

What an amazing story and gorgeously illustrated book.
P. Turner
It's a wonderful story for young children to learn about kindness and care for others.
Lee Hall
And if you decide to buy the book I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
C. Curran

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
“Baby Bear” by Kadir Nelson is a new children book from the author and illustrator that with each new work again inspires young and young at heart readers.

This time in his simply story of young bear who is trying to find his way back home while being helped by his animal friends, the author sends a beautiful message to children about self-esteem, about believing in yourself and in your heart that will surely lead you to the right path and goal of your journey.

It’s especially important to emphasize the beauty of book illustrations that are wonderfully presenting the animals – bear, squirrel, fish and others - in their environment that our young hero will encounter while travelling back home, each of them offering advices and help in own special way.

So if you until now haven’t been familiar with the work of this young and extremely talented author you can’t miss with this or any of his previously published books; with “Baby Bear” Kadir Nelson made a children book about which will be talked about all through the year.

And due to that I wish you to enjoy reading this beautiful and smart book with your child same as I have been doing since yesterday.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C. Curran on June 5, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This story is a picture book about a baby bear who is lost in the woods. He runs into different creatures who give him words of widsom on how to find his home, which he eventually does.

This book is not just about a baby bear trying to find his home; it teaches life lessons. For example it talks about it's going within and listening to that inner voice, trusting yourself, when your down "sing a sng-it will make you feel better." as Ram told the bear. In the begining the pictures are dark, like the bear was walking around at nighttime. As he gets closer to his home they lighen up a little, and when the baby bear finally ffinds his home, it looks like it is dawn.

So brilliant!! What a great analogy, to go from night to dawn like that. I love little subtle details like that. Kudos to the artist or having the insight to do that. Needless the say the pictures were gorgeous. My favorite picture is a picture of the baby bear looking outward from the book, the reflection of the full moon is in both his eyes. I would hang this picture on my wall in a flash if I had one to do so.

Below is an exerpt from the book:

"Excuse me, dear Mountain Lion. I'm lost. Can you help me find my way home?

Oh, is that so? Well, Baby Bear, when I am lost I try to retrace my steps. Can you remember how you got here?

Hmm, I wasn't paying attention. But I think it is that way.

Then perhaps you should go that way.

Thank you, dear Lion..

You're welcome, Baby Bear.

(Baby Bear sees a frog)

Excuse me, dear Frog, I am lost. Can you help me find my way home?

Do you mind? I am busy. Says the frog.

But I'm lost and afraid.

Don not be afraid, Baby Bear. Trust yourself.
Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Heidi Grange on January 8, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The minute I see the name "Kadir Nelson" I have to buy the book. I love his artwork and his books are inevitably wonderful. This one is no different. The story follows a young bear who is lost as he seeks to find his way home. He receives advice from the other animals he meets along the way, each seeking to help him in their own way. From the cougar who tells him to "remember how you got here" to the ram who tells him to sing a song, Baby Bear searches for the way home. A beautiful look at the journey that we all take through life searching for a place to call home and those we meet along the way to help guide us there. A sweet story that can be looked at from many levels of understanding with much that can be discussed and enjoyed. The illustrations are vintage Nelson from the sweet-eyed bear to the grinning salmon and the end pages which depict a night scene giving way to dawn. I think my favorite illustration though is the one with Baby Bear hugging the tree and thinking of home.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By MouseMargo on March 17, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Grandkids are 2.5 and 4 and they really like the book. Pictures match the story so that they can repeat the sotry in their own words after I read it to them. My 2.5 yr old is so cute as she pages through and tells me the story. Some say it is a bit difficult for little ones to get the story but these 2 did great with that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By My2Cents VINE VOICE on February 25, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Baby Bear won me over when I first saw the gorgeous cover, but this new children's book is so much more than just a pretty cover. The author is also the illustrator, and an individual who has been recognized for his talent as a winner of the Caldecott Honor and the Coretta Scott King Author and Illustrator Awards.

The story is about a very young bear who has lost his way and trying to get back to his home. He meet's several different animals along the way, each helps to build his confidence about his ability to find his way by trusting in himself. Very young children will enjoy the gorgeous illustrations, but may not understand the message, but older children (4-7) will benefit by both the visual as well as the message, in my opinion.

The wonderful illustrations of a gorgeous moon, loveable moose, lion, owl, bear, salmon and other creatures that baby bear meets along his journey are so precious, and who doesn't love a happy ending.

A must buy for every library and a wonderful addition to your child's collection as well.

5/5 stars
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More About the Author

Kadir Nelson's award-winning books include Ellington Was Not a Street by Ntozake Shange, which won the Coretta Scott King Award and was an ALA Notable Children's Book; and Just the Two of Us by Will Smith, which received an NAACP Image Award. Mr. Nelson lives in San Diego, California, with his wife and two daughters.

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