Bear Has a Story to Tell by Philip C Stead and Erin E Stead

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Bear Has a Story to Tell by Philip C Stead and Erin E Stead

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: Beautiful illustrations for a sweet story about friendship and patience.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: September 2012
Publisher: Andersen
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1849395182

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Winter is drawing closer, and Bear has a story to tell his friends. Unfortunately, everyone is too busy to hear Bear's story as they are all trying to get ready for winter. Bear slowly, kindly, helps them all to get ready until all his friends are asleep or away, and so there is no one left to tell his story to. Will anyone want to listen when winter is finally over and they're all awake again?

This is a sweet, easy to follow story. Bear is an endearing character, and we see him meet with his friend mouse, then duck, frog and mole, each in turn. Bear is kind, helping his friends to prepare for winter by finding food or shelter, but sadly they're all too busy to sit and listen to a story from Bear. After his hibernation Bear wakes feeling excited, for now he can tell his story to his friends. Once they are all awake and ready they sit, finally ready to listen to Bear's story. However, it has been such a long time that Bear has now forgotten the story he wanted to tell! This time it's the friends who help out Bear, suggesting that perhaps he should tell a story about the days before winter, when Bear helped his friend mouse and duck, frog and mole, and so the book ends with the same words that it began with.

I like the Bear in this story very much. He is large, rather lumbering, and I love his quiet patience. He is kind and gentle, generous with his time, all making for a lovely character in a children's book. The story is simple, and well told. I like that Bear's friends find a way to support him in return when he needs them, and ending the story with the same line as at the beginning of the book gives it a good, cyclical feel and makes it fun for older children who then realise that they have just read the story that Bear told.

The illustrations are lovely. The colours are soft and warm, and the animals manage to look both realistically like animals, and yet with something human to their expressions too. I really love the double page with Bear and Duck. Duck is about to fly South for the winter, so in one picture Bear stands with his paw in the air, checking the direction of the wind, then in the next there is a rather lonely scene of Bear standing alone within an autumnal forest, gazing up as Duck sets off. It's a beautiful picture. All the illustrations are well drawn, and they make the story a real pleasure to read.

This would make a beautiful gift, since the illustrations are so lovely, and it is certainly easy to pick up and re-read. Recommended for quiet, relaxing bedtimes with little ones!

For another lovely bear story try The Bear in the Cave by Michael Rosen and Adrian Reynolds

Buy Bear Has a Story to Tell by Philip C Stead and Erin E Stead at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Bear Has a Story to Tell by Philip C Stead and Erin E Stead at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Bear Has a Story to Tell by Philip C Stead and Erin E Stead at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Bear Has a Story to Tell by Philip C Stead and Erin E Stead at Amazon.com.


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