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Bear on the Train Paperback – August 1, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3-In the fall, a bear smells grain, climbs onto a train, eats his fill, and stays to ride. Jeffrey, a boy about 10, is the only one who sees him, and he tries to coax Bear off each time the train passes by: "Hey, Bear! Get off the train!/You'll freeze when it snows and get wet when it rains!/You'll be scared in the tunnels; you'll be all alone!/Your friends will be worried; they'll want you back home!/So, Bear! Get off the train!" Bear ignores the boy's entreaties, and spends the winter sleeping and riding, undiscovered. He finally awakes "to the succulent taste of spring" and an astonished-looking Jeffrey watches him leave the train. Lawson's spare prose is filled with imagery, rhyme, rhythm, repetition, alliteration, consonance, and assonance. This style is reminiscent of the author's Midnight in the Mountains (Orca, 1998). Deines's rich oil paintings, done in earth tones on canvas, are executed in a realistic style. They are attractively textured, which is especially appropriate for Bear's fur and the surrounding foliage. Occasionally, however, the paintings are a bit too dark to see Bear easily. This story is best shared as a read-aloud to appreciate fully the language and captivating illustrations.
Christina Dorr, Whitehall City Schools, OH
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

The story line is simple: A bear gets on a train in late autumn, drawn by the smell of grain in its hoppers, and after a prolonged snack takes a prolonged snooze in the bowels of the hopper as the train crisscrosses the continent until springtime. Lawson's words have a lovely elemental temper, spare, chiming, and timeless. ``Bear paid no attention. He slept as the train rocked and rolled out of town. He slept through the mountains. He slept through the foothills. He slept through the prairie.'' The train and the landscapes it runs through are beautifully rendered by Deines, with an impressionistic sense of place harnessed by the implacable energy of the locomotive and its train of cars. Unlike the tree in the forest, the bear does not go totally unnoticed; a boy named Jeffrey sees the bear get on the train and shouts a warning to get off; each time the train pulls through his home range that winter, Jeffrey hollers to the snoozing bear, and his words become as talismanic as the bear's act of hibernation. When the bear lumbers off the train come spring, shuffling into the wild without a look back, all seems quite right with the world. (Picture book. 3-8) -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Kids Can Press (August 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1553370686
  • ISBN-13: 978-1553370680
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #561,189 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 27, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is one of those books you want on your shelves for any 4 - 8 year olds in the house. Boys, in particular, would identify with the story. It's a gentle, though unsentimental tale of bear meets trainline, while a boy looks on. No, the furry fellow doesn't meet his maker because of this interaction. Rather, this particular bear takes advantage of a ready-made den and food supply on board a train car, as it travels the very long and beautiful distance across the Canadian mountains and prairies. The accompanying illustrations are absolutely wonderful. My own two small boys love the poetic chant repeated whenever the bear and his train pull into town. My older child brought it into his grade one classroom when the topic of hibernation was on the roster; all 25 classmates clamoured for another reading, and another.
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Format: Hardcover
A young boy witnesses an adult bear climb into a train compartment hauling grain as it pulls away from the station and worries about what will become of the bear in this peculiar hibernaculum. A simple read aloud that children will enjoy with lovely illustrations
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By Persop on October 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
It is a child like story as it depends on imagery through the mind of a boy. A bear boards a train and mostly sleeps across Canada, through seasonal changes. It can be a tool for teachers and from that aspect the artwork is practical.
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