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Bear's Picture Hardcover – April 21, 2008

12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"[A] quirky, sardonic and highly entertaining view of what makes art." Booklist starred, Feb 1 2008 Booklist, ALA, Starred Review

"Bear makes a grand champion for all young artists...it wouldn't hurt for certain grown-ups to hear this message." Kirkus 3/15/08 Kirkus Reviews

"Imaginative illustrations from a notable ursine stylist… lend pizzazz to this reillustrated 1972 bear-centric tale." Publishers Weekly, starred, 1/21/08 Publishers Weekly, Starred

"Children whose creative efforts have been thwarted will… empathize with this paw-on-hip, nose-in-the-air bear who exudes confidence." SLJ April 2008

School Library Journal

"Pinkwater's text has an abstract… tone...subtextual eye-rolling at the...prejudgment of the critics will put kids happily on the bear's side." Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

". . . this aritst bear, broad-beamed and loveable, won't be stopped. 'It is MY picture,' he says, and a splendid one it is." The Chicago Tribune

About the Author

Daniel Pinkwater lives with his wife, the illustrator and novelist Jill Pinkwater, and several dogs and cats in a very old farmhouse in New York’s Hudson River Valley.



D. B. Johnson has been a freelance illustrator for more than twenty years and has done editorial cartoons, comic strips, and conceptual illustrations for magazines and newspapers around the country. Mr. Johnson’s first picture book, Henry Hikes to Fitchburg, was a New York Times bestseller and a Publishers Weekly bestseller, as well as an American Bookseller “Pick of the Lists.” Henry Hikes to Fitchburg also won numerous awards, including the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Picture Books and the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award. Mr. Johnson and his wife, Linda, live in New Hampshire. Visit his website at www.henryhikes.com!
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (April 21, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618759239
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618759231
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.4 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #201,480 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 M. Allen Greenbaum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Bear loves to paint for the sheer joy of painting; he feels drawn to creating and experimenting with color and forms. He doesn't paint with any particular plan, he's spontaneous and his painting is as fresh and unfettered as the bear himself:

First he made an orange squiggle.
Then he had a look at it.
"I believe it wants some blue," said the bear.
And he painted some blue.

THe important thing, Pinkwater implies, is not the bear as artist, but the bear's interaction with the canvas. Note that it's not about what the bear needs; rather, it's about what the blue might want.

Bear's spirit of non-conformity and freedom is challenged by society, represented by by two "fine, proper gentlemen" drawn in shades of grey and wearing formal attire from the 1920's. They wear spats and hats, and one holds a sssstylish cane, but we don't really see their faces. "Bears can't paint pictures," said the second fine, proper gentleman, despite all evidence to the contrary (i.e., there is bear, painting, adding color here and there), and bear's own protest: "Why not? Why can't a bear do anything he likes?" asked the bear.

"Besides," said the first fine, proper gentleman, "that is a silly picture." And his upper class friend adds that "nobody can tell" what the picture represents. They keep looking for some referent... a butterfly, perhaps, or a clown. Finally, when they ask bear he replies (quite eloquently) that it's all sorts of things he likes... a honey tree, a stream in the forest, "a hollow log filled with soft leaves for a bear to keep warm in all winter long," and so on...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 7, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is the perfect book for helping children to remember that if THEY are pleased with something they have made for the joy of making it, then it does not matter what others think. A good book for many adults (especially hypercritical ones) to read as well...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By MJT on July 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Bear's Picture is a beautifully presented story about being oneself regardless of the opinions of others. I was thrilled to see that this book had been republished. I was foolish enough to let go of the copy that my children, now in their 30's, enjoyed so much. The line from the book, "It doesn't have to.... It's my picture" has been used by our family to make a point many, many times through the years. I recently purchased four copies of the new edition, one of which I gave to my 3-year-old granddaughter who enjoys the book and understands the message it delivers. Great for children of all ages.

My only comment regarding the new edition is that I prefer the illustrations in the original.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Charity on May 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Bear's Picture is simple, sweet and true, and I'm not the only one who thinks so! Immediately after taking our copy out of the box my three year old daughter, who loves to paint, asked me to read it three times in a row and it has been in heavy rotation ever since.

The artwork is as wonderful as the story. The two "fine and proper gentlemen" in the book may not "get" bear's picture, but you and your child certainly will.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By L.K.Mackin on January 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I really liked this book and the message it sends. The best artists are generally those who follow their own hearts - as illustrated by the ultimate realism of Bear's picture! The theme of this book is very similar to The Art Lesson by Tomie dePaola.
The Art Lesson (Paperstar Book)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ms Kristin M Earnst on December 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Pinkwater's book helps children (and parents) think about how to talk to people about their art work. The "critics" in the book project their ideas onto bear's picture, but don't listen to his own explanation of his lovely painting. A less resilient artist than bear might decide to stop painting in the face of the negative comments or misunderstanding of the critics in the book, but bear keeps on painting. The book opens up good conversation with children about what kinds of things they can say to other artists to make them want to make more art, rather than to discourage them. On the last page, the print wraps around the page, encouraging readers to turn the book upside down. Children are amazed to see that bear's landscape painting also becomes his self-portrait when seen upside down. This can open discussions about how we may see other things in a painting than an artist sees him or herself. There's also a school of thought that considers every work of art to be a "self-portrait" -- and that's fun to talk about with children, too.
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