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Another Celebrated Dancing Bear Hardcover – April 1, 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Hardcover, April 1, 2007
$14.99 $6.94
--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A "heavy-footed brown bear whose heart is soft as butter," Boris is unhappily employed at the animal hospital. When he sees an ornate poster announcing that his friend Max, "the celebrated dancing bear," is about to tour St. Petersburg, his discontent overwhelms him and he can't control his tears, even as he bravely struggles to congratulate Boris. But Boris, too, is soft-hearted, and he sets about teaching Max to dance. Scheffrin-Falk's first picture book gracefully confronts jealousy, self-doubt (Max "felt a little foolish. Dancing lessons at his age!"), the value of persistence and the power of friendship. Garrison's etchings, framed like snapshots and hand-colored to highlight certain objects (a sash, a jacket, a flower) against sepia-like backgrounds, infuse the volume with the feel of an antique scrapbook. This old-world flavor further enhances the nostalgic imperial Russian setting, replete with samovars, graduated Russian peasant dolls (here shaped like bears) and distant spires. Ages 5-7.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 1-- Set in Czarist Russia, Another Celebrated Dancing Bear is the story of a friendship between elegant Max, a famous dancer with the Moscow Circus, and simple Boris, who works at a local animal hospital. When Max learns of Boris's unhappiness with his job and envy of Max's fame, he resolves to teach his friend to dance. After many weeks of lessons and practice, Boris is able to join the Moscow Circus. Garrison's warm etchings printed in burnt-umber ink and highlighted with watercolor washes capture the setting and period, giving a flavor of antiquity. They help transport children to another place and time to experience some of the caring and sharing in the relationship of two rather special bears.
- Barbara B. Murphy, Shaler Area School District Libraries, Pittsburgh, PA
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Purple House Press (April 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193090035X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1930900356
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 8.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,782,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book, suggested in the Five in a Row curriculum, is a very sweet story about two bears who share friendship, encouragement, tea, and a love for dancing. Set in Russia, with a samovar and all, one bear encourages and helps his friend follow his dream. While Boris could choose to be jealous of Max's dancing and feel sorry for himself that he could never learn or succeed, he instead takes a leap of faith and allows Max to mentor him. A great book when learning about Russia...read over a cup of tea (Russian if you can) and Russian tea cookies and follow with a recording or DVD of Tchaikovsky.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a sweet book about a bear named Boris who just wants to learn to dance like his friend Max. We used it with the Five in a Row curriculum, and although I don't see this being pulled off the shelf for any additional readings, the kids did enjoy the story, especially my 6 year old. For what it's worth, it gave us a lot of opportunity to talk about jealousy, and how Max was a good friend to recognize the problem and offer to help, without even being asked. My kids were interested in the Hussars dance mentioned in the book, so we looked up videos. The book describes the process of etchings the illustrator used, so we made our own version which was a huge hit. Since the setting is in Russia, we learned about Russia and Russian culture, and we read it in December, so that we could transition into a Tchaikovsky composer study and The Nutcracker. I love when a book had a good story AND offers a lot of learning opportunities, and this one delivers!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We love the "freshness" of this book. What I mean is, it gives us a different type of artwork to look at (there is a "Note About the Pictures," telling you how the artist goes from etching to printing the pictures). And you get to explore a little bit of Russian culture (as well as rhythm and dancing). I have not seen any other children's picture book with these combined elements.

And the moral of the story is great, too. One of the bears thinks only his friend can dance, and he cannot. He discovers that if he puts forth the effort, he too can dance. I like that the author shows that it takes commitment; time; hard work; and humility to be taught, in order to learn a new skill.
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By Kristi H on November 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover
We are using this book as part of the Five In A Row curriculum. It was the first book that didn't connect in any way with my kids (7 & 6). The pictures bored them and the story, while very nice, just didn't hold their interest. Everything in the book is basically the same color and looked drab, even to me. It was the first book we didn't like and will probably not pick up again.

I still give it three stars because there are some good things to learn from it and its a sweet story. But as a "living book" it fell flat, in our opinion :)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You can enjoy reading this book with your kids and then talk about what it means to help a friend and putting effort into doing something you really want to do.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent introduction to Russian culture for young kids. They enjoyed both the story of the bears and the Russian setting.
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