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Bear Has a Story to Tell Paperback – International Edition, September 6, 2012

66 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

K-Gr 2-Before hunkering down to hibernate, Bear wants to share a story with his friends, but Mouse, Duck, Frog, and Mole are too busy with their own winter preparations to listen. Months later, Bear wakes up and is eager to reunite with his pals and finally tell his tale. He "clear[s] his throat," "puff[s] out his chest," and then, much to his chagrin, forgets what he wants to say. His friends offer prompts that jog his memory: "Maybe your story is about a bear," "Maybe your story is about the busy time just before winter," "there should be other characters too." In lovely circular fashion, the ending has Bear sitting on a log beginning his story that readers will remember as the first sentence of the book. Erin Stead's exquisite pencil and watercolor illustrations capture the beauty of the changing landscape with falling leaves, first snowflakes, and starry evenings. Bear's nurturing acts of kindness are also conveyed, from raising a paw to check the wind direction as Duck flies away to gently tucking Frog under a warm blanket of leaves and pine needles. The rhythms of nature and of storytelling are in fine form here.-Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canadaα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"Delightful ... Wonderfully illustrated with spare drawings in earthy watercolor." New York Times "Gorgeous illustrations and a charming story make this a lovely book to share." -- Clare Poole Booksellers' Choice, The Bookseller "The illustrations are steeped in weariness and utterly charming, and the narrative is beautifully written." -- Marilyn Brocklehurst Booksellers' Choice, The Bookseller "Stead's compositions exude an ineffable, less-is-more charm," Kirkus Starred Review, Best Books for 2012 "Touching and sensitive ... A beautiful, calming bedtime read." Carousel
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Andersen Press Ltd (September 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849395187
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849395182
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 0.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,327,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Rose Augustine on September 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I was eagerly waiting for this book's release since I fell in love with Erin's Stead's last illustrating project And Then It's Spring. Here the husband/wife duo shine as they did in Amos McGee. I am so eager to see them produce more work! This title is printed on nice, thick paper that just feels GOOD in your hands. It's one of those small details that really make a big difference because it makes you realize that you are holding a gem... something to savor slowly and deliberately with a child.

One thing to note: I read this book in early September. It really would be better (in this part of the country anyway) to save this for an early November reading. The sun is still shining bright around here and there's only a hint of crispy air in the morning. This book evokes late fall feelings... the preparations for winter and such.

There is no overarching moral message here or intricate details of adventure (much like the Spring book)... just a lovely, simple seasonal read that you'll want to experience curled up on the couch with a child and a quilt: books that invite moments like those need to be on everyone's bookshelf.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Schneider on September 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Steads have hit another home run with their follow-up to A Sick Day for Amos McGee! Bear Has a Story to Tell is a beautiful story that follows Bear as he tries to tell one last story before his long winter sleep. Bear's gentleness and patience is magnificently illustrated through Erin Stead's unique and subtle style. The pictures will make you want to pull Bear right off the page and give him a big hug!

It is a fantastic book for children of any age and sure to be a classic!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Nancy on November 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This simple story has a big message about friendship and patience.

It is almost winter and Bear has a story to share with his friends before his big yawns put him to sleep for a very long time. As he approaches Mouse to ask if he would like to hear a story, Mouse is distracted with his need to find seeds to get him through the winter, so being a good friend, Bear helps him to gather what he will need, but when the time comes for the story, Mouse is already burrowing in until spring.

The story is not much different with his friends Duck who is getting ready to fly south. Bear is a good friend, he help Duck to take flight for warmer parts.

Oh, there is Frog, surely he would like to hear a story, but alas, Frog needs to find a warm place to sleep. Bear cannot let frog down so he sets off to make the perfect bed for his friend.

As the first snowflakes begin to fall, Bear too must find a place to burrow in for the long winter months. As the season passes and the snow melts Bear can tell his story, but first Bear must make sure his friends are ok.

As story time rolls around, all his friends wait for the tale that Bear has longed to tell - if only he could remember it.

A sweet story about sharing and caring and what it means to be a friend.
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Format: Hardcover
Bear sat on a log and rubbed his eyes as little leaves began to drop to the ground. He was getting sleepy, but he was anxious to tell someone a story and soon spotted Mouse, "Mouse," he asked, "would you like to hear a story?" Oh, no, it was a very busy time of the year and he had to gather seeds. And so Bear helped him before he "tunneled underground to wait for spring." As the leaves continued to spiral toward the ground, Bear went off to find Duck to see if he would like to hear a story. Oh, no, it was a busy time and he was "getting ready to fly south." Bear would certainly miss him, but soon duck began to fly.

Puffy pink clouds were overhead and "the sun was heavy and hung low in the sky." Bear leaned against a rock and soon Frog jumped up on his tummy. "Frog!" he asked, "Would you like to hear a story? Oh, no, it was a busy time and soon he would have to "find a warm place to sleep." Bear helped him dig a little hole and covered him so he could go to sleep. The leaves continued to tumble from the old oak tree as Bear leaned against it. Perhaps Mole would like to hear his story, but little snowflakes began to fall and Bear was getting really sleepy. Was there anyone who would listen to his story?

This is a wonderfully quaint story about Bear who cannot find anyone to listen to his story. One of the wondrous things about this picture book is that it subtly teaches young children how animals prepare for winter and hibernate. The artwork gives off the aura of a quiet time, a time of preparation. We can almost feel Bear's sleepiness emanating from the pages as he slowly discovers that all his friends are preparing for winter. The little Mole can be seen in his den far beneath the ground already fast asleep, one of the many animals who hibernates. This is a story that would be a perfect read and discuss tale during circle or storytime!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By St. Louis Illini on October 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Phillip Stead books are just wonderful, and this one is no exception. The repetitive nature of the book makes it appealing for young kids, the illustrations are beautiful, and it's great for reading comprehension work.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I ran across Bear Has a Story to Tell by Philip C. Stead on Amazon while I was searching for new picture books to use for Story Time at the library where I work. This book is a treasure! The illustrations by Erin Stead grabbed me first - a fuzzy brown bear sits on a log, talking to a duck, while fall leaves spiral down on the cover.The sweet, evocative text explains that Bear tries to tell a story to his friends. Each of the other animals is busy preparing for winter and doesn't have time to listen. Bear graciously helps each friend with his preparations and then moves on. The soft pastel illustrations depict Bear's facial expressions and body language with exquisite sensitivity. Finally, hibernation claims Bear and he falls asleep, his story still untold. When he wakens in the spring, his friends are ready to listen but Bear has forgotten the story. Now his friends must help him to recapture the tale he planned to pass on. This book has so many applications not only for Story Time and one-on-one sharing but it would provide an awesome springboard for a children's sermon. The themes of friendship and selflessness are obvious. The more subtle refrain of forgotten stories, echoes growing old and depending on friends and family to recall past events. This picture book deserves a space in every public and school library and most homes, too. It's a gem!
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