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The Bear That Wasn't (New York Review Books Children's Collection) Hardcover – March 9, 2010


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The Bear That Wasn't (New York Review Books Children's Collection) + Wolf Story (New York Review Collections) + Jenny and the Cat Club: A Collection of Favorite Stories about Jenny Linsky (New York Review Children's Collection)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Series: New York Review Books Children's Collection
  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: NYR Children's Collection (March 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590173449
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590173442
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 7.6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #306,213 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Like a good many modern satirical fables about animals, this falls heavily between the stools of adult and juvenile interest.” – The New York Times

“It is a fable for grownups that will be fun for children. Sit down with the book and get your own bearings.” –New York Herald Tribune

“If you do not laugh at The Bear That Wasn’t you are not only a member of the human group, you are an agelast and you deserve it. An agelast (see Rabelais) is a silly man in a fur coat who needs a shave and doesn’t think it’s funny.” –Saturday Review of Literature

“Go ahead and enjoythe book, which is thoroughly funny throughout…Mr. Tashlin’s bear is very ingratiating and provides a good deal of fun for all members of the family.” –Springfield Republican

“Mr. Tashlin’s earlier masterpiece, The Bear That Wasn’t is a genially savage lampoon on the The Civilized People Who Aren’t.” –Los Angeles Times

"...a good story with wonderful pictures and even some political satire to appeal to adults who read it, as well." –Scott Simon, Weekend Edition Saturday, NPR

"...it's a classic. And the proof of that is that it is now coming out...from the wonderful and magnificent New York Review of Books Children's Collection.  [The Bear That Wasn't]  has been hanging around since 1946, with wonderful pen and ink drawings." –Daniel Pinkwater, Weekend Edition Saturday, NPR 

About the Author

Frank Tashlin (1913–1972) was born in New Jersey and raised in Queens, New York. As a teenager he worked as an errand boy, inker, and animator at several pioneering animation
studios in New York. By 1933 he had moved to Hollywood, where he wrote and directed cartoon shorts for MGM and Warner Bros., and briefly served as head of production at Screen Gems. Tashlin also worked for a while at Disney Studios, helping to organize its embattled animators’ union. During his early years in California, Tashlin drew a syndicated
pantomime-style cartoon strip called Van Boring, and during the Second World War, he worked on the military’s Private Snafu series (created by Frank Capra and Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel). Though he retired from animation in the mid-1940s, Tashlin is recognized as an influential stylist who brought cinematographic techniques and inventive “camera” angles to the medium. Moving from cartoons to live action, Tashlin worked for a time as a comedy writer before fulfilling his ambition to write and direct feature films. He is best known for his collaborations with Jerry Lewis and Bob Hope, and for screwball comedies like The Girl Can’t Help It and Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? Tashlin has described The Bear That Wasn’t (1946) as “precious and special to me.” It was followed by two more picture books, The ‘Possum That Didn’t (1950) and The World That Wasn’t (1951).

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 27 customer reviews
This edition is just perfect and very reasonably priced.
L. O'Connell
My siblings and I loved this book in the '50s, and I was thrilled to come across it again, just in time for grandchildren, great-nieces and nephews.
Ellen Zale
My brother & I (now 66 & 65 yrs old) read this book so many times that it fell apart.
Patrick A. Mauer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 5, 1998
Format: Paperback
After almost half a century, I have come to realize that this book, the first one I read all by myself, has had a profound influence on my world view. I can still remember a number of the wonderful illustrations.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 28, 1997
Format: Paperback
A book that teaches the importance of knowing who you are and the fact that others may think they know you but really don't. It shows the importance of the sense of self, an important lesson for young people. It does this without preaching, with good humor and illustrations that have many objects for children, and adults, to discover. The illustrations in this reprint are unfortunatly slightly cropped from the original book with some loss of content.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book has been a personal favorite ever since I can remember. I make sure to read it to any child that visits my house. My affinity to the material and the subtile presentation of the importance of being an individual was a clear indication of my political orientation from a very early age. I'm so glad that I can now get copies for the next generation to take home and cherish.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Joan Ramos on March 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book has been a great favorite in my family since my parents received a copy in the late 1940's. I am delighted that it has finally been reprinted! However, I am disappointed that the binding in this edition cuts off part of some of the wonderful illustrations, especially those of the offices of the factory bosses, which take up two pages. In the Third Vice President's office the foreman is almost completely buried in the binding, as is the Third Vice President in both the Second Vice President's and the First Vice President's offices. Otherwise, I am very happy with this book!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Greysolon on June 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Frank Tashlin's 1946 masterpiece is a witty parable of modern times embedded in superbly executed drawings of satirical whimsy at once pungent and sweetly evocative. Inexplicably out of print for decades, this gem of a book is handsomely reprinted by NYRB in an edition that surpasses the original in manufacture. If your children (or grandchildren) of about seven or above are lucky, you will share this terrific book with them often for the grand experience great books provide. And pretty soon, someone in the family will chuckle at a peculiar event, and say with a smile, "He's not a bear, he's a silly man who needs a shave and wears a fur coat!" And you will reply with a broader smile, "But I AM a bear!" Because you are not a silly person who didn't buy this book RIGHT NOW!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sheila Michaels on July 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
One of my all-time favorites. Right up there with "Ferdinand, The Bull", as cutting the crap about childhood. For, however much they tried to brainwash the bear, he comes to accept that he was a bear, after all, no matter what the world tried to tell him. I regret that, by reducing the format, Dover has lessened the impact of the illustrations; which kept me enthralled for hours. They are immensely detailed. Also, one wonders if this was not something of an allegory for sophisticates, as Frank Tashlin was a sophisticated Hollywood writer of great note.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By N. Kelsey on January 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book and "The Giving Tree" are the 2 best books ever written. My father read "The Bear" to me when I was young, and when I was in high school he found a copy that he gave to me and inscribed, "Read this often to remind you that who you are is who you are, and that's not bad." 20 years later, I still do.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kactus on January 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This was the first book that I remember reading with "bigger words" 65 years ago. While filming a documentary on the Island of Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia (then the United States Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands), I suddenly realized that the "20th Century" was trying to impose its lifestyle upon these gentle people. The grass skirts for the women were giving way to the use of bras in the district center. This book is as deep as any ocean!
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