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When You Meet a Bear on Broadway (Melanie Kroupa Books) Hardcover – September 29, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 1—A wispy-haired young girl dressed in a blue coat, orange-and-red striped stockings, and a beret takes charge of a lost baby bear. With the staunch, internalized voice of a mother, the heroine calms him ("Hush-a-bit, Little Bear. So we can think"), asks questions, and looks for his mama. They come upon a park and a big tree to climb. In a heartfelt spread, Little Bear cries "Ma-maaa!" from the highest branch and can be heard throughout town, beckoning his mother's return. The sketchy lines of the city, drawn in pen and ink and watercolor with little variation in value, create a flat New York streetscape, yet the sole emphasis on the characters and natural elements adds to the reassuring overtones and rhythms of the text. Short phrases make the story flow. The baby bear's infantlike talk will charm the youngest children, but for an urban lost-and-found story with a little more drama, try Alexis Deacon's Beegu (Farrar, 2003).—Sara Paulson-Yarovoy, American Sign Language and English Lower School PS 347, New York City END

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Written as an advice book of sorts, this whimsical title offers suggestions about what to do if you run into the scenario named in the book’s title. The bear in question is, as depicted in the ink-and-wash illustrations, a clear stand-in for a preschooler: a small cub who cries for his lost mother. A young girl on the streets of Manhattan tries to help: “How does your mama look, Little Bear?” “How does your mama sing?” At last, the girl takes Little Bear to a park, where he climbs a tree, shouts for his mama, and, miraculously, is heard. The bear’s sweet reunion isn’t the only one, though. The closing page advises, “Run! On the wings of the wind. All the way home. To tell your mama everything that happened on this crispy-cold day.” The final spread shows the girl racing toward her mother, who stands at the door with open arms. The repetitive beat in the sly, humorous words makes this a perfect read-aloud, although the irresistible nuances in Savadier’s artwork, including the body language between girl and bear as she comforts him, are best viewed at close range. Young children will recognize the thrill of an independent adventure, the drama of being lost, and the reassuring joy of being found. Preschool-Grade 1. --Gillian Engberg

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 6 years
  • Series: Melanie Kroupa Books
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR); 1 edition (September 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374400156
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374400156
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,503,540 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Amy Hest's many acclaimed children's books include the New York Times bestseller Kiss Good Night. A three-time winner of the prestigious Christopher Award, she lives in New York City. She claims to have absolutely no hidden talents, unless you count an uncanny interest in coffee ice cream and certain dogs in the Wheaten Terrier or Airedale family. Amy likes to take long walks (in the city), ride a bike (in the city), and swim (also in the city). She likes movies and reading, of course!

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
A little girl was passing a shoe store on Broadway when all of a sudden she saw a little bear in front of her. There are certain things you should do when you meet a bear in Manhattan and one of them is to stick your gloved hand out (after you "suck in your breath") and say, "Stop there, Little Bear!" It's necessary to find out why a bear is not in upstate New York so you have to start asking questions. It doesn't take long to find out that Little Bear has lost his Mama and that he is going to start to cry. "Boohoo! BOOHOO!" It will get so loud you'll have to plug your ears.

Next it is necessary to calm Little Bear down, take his hand and find a bench to sit on. The little girl spotted a bench to sit on and before you know it they were all cuddled up to keep warm and put on their thinking caps. It wasn't easy to get him to describe his mama. "Oh! Looks like Mama!" It wasn't going to be easy to find his mama, but she was going to be patient and try. They went uptown, they went downtown and looked out over the river. No Mama. They tried Central Park and she let Little Bear climb a tree. He climbed higher and began to sing, "Ma-maa!" Were they ever going to find his lost mama?

This was simply an adorable book from the first page to the last . . . "MA-MAAAAAAAA!" Every little bear or child who has lost their Mama can relate to this story. It is also a good opportunity to discuss what your little one should do in case they ever lose their Mama when they are out in public and, of course, have that never ending discussion about "strangers." I loved the beautiful flow of the story and the whimsical watercolors are a treasure. This is a quaint little story you and your little one are going to enjoy and remember, don't get lost!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kirsten G. Cutler on December 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a whimsical picture book about a girl who meets a little bear while she is walking on Broadway in New York. The bear cries, "BOOHOO" because his mother is lost. The little girl sits with the little bear on a bench while they think what to do. The girl asks the bear, "How does your mama look?" and he replies, "Looks like Mama!" She asks the little bear, "How does your mama sing?" and he replies helpfully, "Sings like Mama!" Then they walk hand-in-paw around the city until they arrive at a park. There the little bear climbs a tree and calls out loudly, "Ma-maaa" and of course, the little bear and his mama get reunited. The pen and watercolor illustrations are very sweet: one shows the little bear jumping down from the tree into his mama's arms while another depicts the girl kneeling on the ground and looking into the eyes of the little bear while holding his paws as the two say good-bye. This is a cute story that will reassure young children about a frightening experience.
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