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The Teddy Bears' Picnic Hardcover – August 8, 1996

4.5 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreS. The large, immediate illustrations and bold text will attract young audiences to this printed version of a popular song. However, while the bears resemble stuffed toys, they are life-size and lifeless. The illustrations are flat and two dimensional. Their static nature diminishes the charm of the song and is at odds with the magical premise of the tale. The attached cassette is good reason to buy this package. Its jaunty folk rhythms and banjo picking are easy to listen to over and over again. Playing the tape while looking at the book helps liven up the reading experience. The bears do fun things on this picnic, but they don't appear to be having a good time.?Martha Topol, Traverse Area District Library, Traverse City, MI
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Jerry Garcia and David Grisman met at a bluegrass show in 1964 and collaborated on a variety of projects, including their 1973 band Old and In the Way. Jerry spent over thirty years writing and playing guitar with the Grateful Dead, while David revolutionized the mandolin with his own brand of acoustic music called "dawg" (a nickname Jerry gave him), which he continues to perform with his quintet. In 1990 they formed the Garcia/Grisman band and subsequently made new recordings, including the 1993 release Not for Kids Only, on which the song "Jenny Jenkins" appears.

Bruce Whatley is one of Australia’s best-loved and most-respected author–illustrators. His most recent books include the enormously successful and award-winning Diary of a Wombat, written by Jackie French, and its companion volume, The Secret World of Wombats, also illustrated by Bruce. The best selling team have also collaborated on Pete the Sheep, and most recently, Josephine Wants to Dance. Two of Bruce’s previous books, The Ugliest Dog in the World and Tails from Grandad’s Attic, were named as Notable Books by the Children’s Book Council of Australia in 1993 and 1996 respectively. Looking for Crabs was shortlisted by the Children’s Book Council in 1993 and Detective Donut and the Wild Goose Chase was named an Honour Book by the Children’s Book Council in 1998. Bruce has illustrated forty books to date, including a number that he has co-written with Rosie Smith. Their latest collaboration was Little White Dogs Can’t Jump.



Jerry Garcia and David Grisman met at a bluegrass show in 1964 and collaborated on a variety of projects, including their 1973 band Old and In the Way. Jerry spent over thirty years writing and playing guitar with the Grateful Dead, while David revolutionized the mandolin with his own brand of acoustic music called "dawg" (a nickname Jerry gave him), which he continues to perform with his quintet. In 1990 they formed the Garcia/Grisman band and subsequently made new recordings, including the 1993 release Not for Kids Only, on which the song "Jenny Jenkins" appears.

Bruce Whatley is the author and illustrator of many popular and award-winning books, including The Teddy Bears' Picnic and There Ain't No Bugs on Me, both of which are, book-and-tape versions of Garcia-Grisman collaborations that appear on the Not for Kids Only album. Bruce lives with his wife and two children in Meredith, New Hampshire.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 4 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: NP (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Har/Cas edition (August 8, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006027302X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060273026
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #642,362 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Uncle Jerry & Uncle David unpack their guitar & banjo, sit down in front of the fire & make music. Your rug rats are in for a fine treat as these fine musicians accompany Uncle Bruce's picture story. Long, long ago when this editor was little the radio was her speaker to the world. There were programs for women & children dotted throughout the day on the BBC station & one in particular for the very young, in which could be heard such charming duets as Run Rabbit Run & The Teddy Bears' Picnic. I loved the mellow fellows who sang this charming song. I had not heard this melody in all those years when the book & attached audiotape caught my eye amid a chorus of bear calls & growls, demanding I listen. I never argue with Teddy Bears, especially when they're singing!...
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Format: Hardcover
Because I am a deadhead I was drawn to buy this book not only for myself but also for my children. Jerry Garcia is able to tell a wonderful story using music. Jerry and David form a great team and tell great stories together. This book is not only for children but also for anyone who loves a good story teller(s). I would reccommend this book to anyone who has children and to those who want to enjoy a great moment with their children. Jerry Garcia is a legend who's music, book, and spirit will live on with all who were blessed to hear and share in his wonderful music making and now story telling.
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Format: Hardcover
We use this great version of Teddy Bears Picnic for storytimes at our library. The illustrations are appealing to the children and the baby boomer moms and dads are pulled in by Garcia's name!
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Format: Audio Cassette
I bought this book for our 3 year old and she LOVES it. The illustrations are adorable! (Her favorite is the Jerry Bear!) The music set to the book is a perfect addition to our collection! A wonderful gift for a family of deadheads! A must buy for all ages!
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Format: Board book
What do I look for in a kids' board book? Well, let's start with vividly colored, uncluttered pictures, a simply told yet interesting (e.g., imaginative and/or age-appropriate content, some action or emotion) story, repetition of words or sounds, durability, and just enough adult appeal that the reader will enjoy (or at least tolerate) reading it over and over. Extra points if the book's target audience spans a few years, so that the adult can adapt it to the maturing toddler.

Written by famed musicians Jerry Garcia and David Grisman (who insert themselves as the lead musicians in the story), the story is about bears getting together for a picnic and treats, for no particular reason:

For every bear that ever was
Will gather there for certain because
Today's the day the teddy bears
Have their picnic.

Every teddy bear who's been good
IS sure of a reat today
There's lots of marvelous things to eat
And wonderful games to play.

You can hear in the first stanza above a tricky sort of rhythm that's probably made clear when listening to the cassette that comes with some editions of the book. As far as I can tell, however, the board book does NOT come with one. I recommend getting the book WITH the cassette: You'll glide more easily over some of the more difficult words ("unawares"), the verses that sometimes rhyme and sometimes don't, and, let's face it, a fairly uneventful story. (Bears come, have snacks and play music, get tired, and go home.)

FOrtunately, all version of "THe Teddy Bears' Picnic Board Book" have softly colored illustrations (probably watercolors) by Bruce Whatley. Some pictures are uncomplicated bear drawings, others display enough detail to attract the interest of older infants and toddlers.
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Format: Board book Verified Purchase
I bought this for my niece for Christmas. I had it shipped to my mom's house. When I got there, a couple days before Christmas, I was truly disappointed in the product. What I received was a small cardboard book. The picture looks like a large book and claims to come with a tape that has Jerry Garcia and David Grissman doing a song. No tape. No mention of Jerry or Dave on the book. Poor product, poor description, poor presentation of product on the Amazon page. Now I must find something for my niece last minute to go with tiny book.
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Format: Audio Cassette
Jerry and David have an amazing ability to create sensitive and intricate music and sing the most endearing words making a song lovely for all ages to enjoy. The children I care for love Teddy Bear picnic, as well as, the whole compilation of songs on "Not for Kids Only." The book/ tape combo is a wonderful gift for baby showers. Moms love the music too because its easy on the ears. Hats off to Jerry and David! They are masters at what they do!
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Format: Board book Verified Purchase
This was my favorite song as a child growing up in the 40's/50's and wanted to share with my 5 year old grandson. We had fun with it. I was disappointed in that I anticipated receiving a disc of Jerry Garcia singing as a purchase several years ago for another grandson contained one. While this is advertised as from Jerry Garcia, he really has nothing to do with this book. Fortunately, I was able to get the music off the computer.
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