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Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: A well-cared-for item that has seen limited use but remains in great condition. The item is complete, unmarked, and undamaged, but may show some limited signs of wear. Item works perfectly. Pages and dust cover are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine is undamaged.
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The Bear Under the Stairs Paperback – 1994

4.7 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Paperback, 1994
$19.94 $0.01

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Anyone who's ever suffered an irrational fear will sympathize heartily with William, who's convinced that a grizzly bear lurks in the closet beneath the stairs. His apprehension blossoms to the point where he begins saving morsels from meals and tossing them quickly into the closet ("wham, bang, thump!") as tokens of appeasement. Finally, his mother sniffs out the problem (literally), and tackles it head-on, sending William's fear packing (and the bear as well--a tongue-in-cheek final illustration shows the grizzly parachuting into new territory, carpetbag in hand). Cooper's sunny approach to a common childhood anxiety is bolstered by deft use of light and shadow in her soft-focus watercolor and pencil art, which visually reinforces the elusive, imaginary nature of William's concern. Ages 3-7.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2-William is scared of bears and the place under the stairs. Ergo, it is easy for him to convince himself that a bear lives there. To appease the animal, the boy tosses it leftover table scraps. Eventually, the inevitable occurs, and a strange aroma pervades the house, prompting his mother to investigate. She and William open the door to find an old furry rug, a broken chair, horrible stinky food strewn everywhere...but no bear. Or is there? For, skulking in the shadows and sneaking off into the distance, a bear can be seen, and, disappearing along with it, are William's fears. While Dick Gackenbach's Harry and the Terrible Whatzit (Clarion, 1979) and Mercer Mayer's There's a Nightmare in My Closet (Dial, 1985) remain the definitive explorations of a child's imagination run rampant, Cooper does a nice job. The somber, homey illustrations, combined with an offbeat rhyme scheme, capture the slightly skewed world of a youngster's surmountable fear.
Anna DeWind, Milwaukee Public Library
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi Childrens; New edition edition (1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552527068
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590485395
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.2 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #871,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Getting and keeping the attention of eighteen 4 and 5 year old children is no mean task, The Bear under the Stairs, had them riveted, All of them. And at the end of the story the best accolade ever, expressed in three wounderful words,
" Again teacher again."
Barbara A Lawless.
(Nursery Teacher, The Infant School. Bahrain .)
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
We found this book at the library several weeks ago, and my children loved it so much that we checked it out over and over again. I finally found it here - whew! It's become our new favorite bedtime book, one that simply must be read before my kids will sleep.
This is not the traditional kind of book that I'm used to reading to my kiddos, but they love it just the same. It's all about a little boy named William, who one day believes he sees a bear living in the little storage closet underneath his stairs. His imagination takes off, and William thinks he hears the bear contemplating eating little boys for dinner. To appease the bear, William starts sneaking him whatever he can find from the table - haddock and honey, pears, you name it, they all get thrown into the closet, eyes squeezed shut, quick as can be. Though William is careful not to get too close to the bear or make eye contact, he knows that when his family is asleep, the bear enjoys bubble baths, playing with his toys, sliding down the banister backwards and making pancakes.
As the food in the bear lair under the stairs starts to smell, mom intervenes patiently and lovingly.
It's a very well done story with beautiful artwork. While the bear's expressions are a bit scary at times and William's drawing of the bear looks pretty gruesome, my kids are absolutely fascinated by this book and the bear's mode of transport at the end. I'm so glad we stumbled upon it!
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Format: Paperback
There is a horror lurking under little William's basement stairs - a hungry grizzly bear with a taste for little boys and an unnatural interest in their toys. Worst of all, William must deal with this horror on his own, as he lacks the hard evidence needed to alert his parents. Since this is no 'Home Alone', appeasement is William's only way to avoid becoming its next lunch. Ultimately these efforts backfire and draw a new character into the struggle just in time for the final showdown.

Author Helen Cooper possesses a rare insight into children's minds and the childhood world. She knows their twilight places and the monsters that haunt them. And as her other successful works (such as 'The Boy Who Wouldn't Go to Bed') demonstrate, she is particularly adept at depicting those places in rich, colourful pastels, and from the perspective of small children (we see much of William's world at doorknob height and some adults mainly from the neck down). She is also great when it comes to drawing little boys and bears and their families. The piece de resistance comes in the page illustrating William's ultimate nightmare fantasy, a Boschian garden of unearthly delights starring a hot-tubbing, cross-dressing, pancake-flipping, walkman-dancing, TV-watching, electric-train borrowing, bannister-sliding bear in full rampage.

Like the Ahlbergs' 'Peepo', Cooper's illustrations contain some of the most richly humourous explorations of the issue of subjective perception that I have seen in a children's book. Not only is there the obvious question of what does William really see down there, we also get to share the bear's perspective on William and his world (not flattering).

Were there an academy award for best character in this book, the bear would win hands down.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had heard of "The Bear under the Stairs" when listening to a presentation on the internet. Since I am by career a first grade teacher, I felt this was a great story to use with children to talk with them about their fears.

Since I was not going to use the book on a daily basis, I did not feel that I needed to spend a lot of money for a new book. However, in using it with youth, I didn't want there to be crayon marks and tears on the pages as some of the reviews noted. Therefore when I saw the review that this one was like new, I was willing to try that one.

I'm thankful for the evaluation system and rating that I found on Amazon for this book. Keep up the great work of being honest about used items - maybe I will buy more items this way.
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Format: Paperback
Fears, real and imagined, are a central and powerful theme in the life and minds of preschoolers. This book covers this theme for them with grace and beauty. I have read this book to many preschool aged children in my class, and without exception, every child has enjoyed it. That is a tough thing to accomplish. I believe the topic content paired with the BEAUTIFUL AND DELIGHTFUL WORDPLAY are the keys to this books success with its audience. This book artfully uses rhyme(...bear, there, in it's lair, under the stairs...), alliteration (...bananas, bacon, and bread...) and onomatopoeia (...wham, bang, thump!), to tell this story and entertain.
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By Persop on September 3, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This can be an important book for a child that is ready to listen. Simply stated a child learns that fears may be unfounded. Some of the concepts may be more appreciated by the adult reading the story. The author is then imparting messages at both levels. As with many concepts the story may be of value at a later date by applying the lesson to a later event.
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