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Bear Has a Story to Tell

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  2,867 Ratings  ·  377 Reviews
It was almost winter and Bear was getting sleepy.
But first, Bear had a story to tell...

Bear found his friend Mouse, but Mouse was busy gathering seeds and didn't have time to listen to a story. Then Bear saw his friend Duck, but Duck was getting ready to fly south. What about his friend Toad? He was busy looking for a warm place to sleep. By the time Bear was through help
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 4th 2012 by Roaring Brook Press
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Extra Yarn by Mac BarnettAnd Then It's Spring by Julie FoglianoGreen by Laura Vaccaro SeegerThis is Not My Hat by Jon KlassenThe Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce
2013 Mock Caldecott
9th out of 97 books — 244 voters
Marlow and the Monster by Sharon CramerSquid and Octopus Friends for Always by Tao NyeuThe Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William JoyceTwo for One by Kate DiCamilloBear Has a Story to Tell by Philip C. Stead
Most Anticipated Picture Books of 2012
5th out of 71 books — 69 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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What a lovely book! It's very gentle and sweet and perfect for autumn. Bear is getting very sleepy as the leaves begin to fall, but he has a story to tell before he takes his long winter nap. But all his forest friends are preparing for winter, too. Mouse needs to gather food, duck needs to fly south, etc. and they are all too busy to hear his story. But Bear is a good friend and helps them all with their preparations. Will Bear ever be able to tell his story?

The ending is a little surprising, a
Dec 08, 2015 Laura rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books

”Would you like to hear a story?”

I love Bear! This big, brown, soft, slow moving cutie looks so warm, cozy and content. I want to curl up on his belly and stay there all winter! :D

Bear has a story to tell, but everyone is busy getting ready to hibernate for the winter. From Mouse to Frog to Mole—Bear helps tuck each one in for the long winter. But Bear is getting tired too. Yawning and stretching. What about his story? Will we ever hear Bear’s tale?

This warm, sweet story is filled to the brim wi
Jun 21, 2016 Cheryl rated it it was amazing
Oh! Oh my goodness. My children and I would have loved this when they were little. The 'plot' is sweet, but could have been ruined by the wrong illustrator. I'm so glad the Steads are a team as Erin really made these characters come alive in their setting (despite the 'blurriness' that I normally don't like). I love how Bear helped his friends get ready for winter, instead of focusing on his own quest. I love how Bear seems not only sleepy, but just a little melancholy... with symbolism making t ...more
So gentle, and such a nice uncluttered story. I love that even though the bear wants to help, and does help, his friends, that the "helping" really isn't all that much help. I think that is just exactly where so many kids are...a little bit of help is all they can contribute. And that the friends really have absolutely no idea what Bear's story was, but that they figure out a way to help Bear back by giving him a story that works anyway? Love it.
Like many young readers, I will follow this author/illustrator team anywhere they want to take me--to and from the zoo and around the woods as fall comes to an end and winter sets in. As in the case of A Sick Day for Amos McGee, there's a sweetness and a sentimentality to this story that makes me want to read it again and again. Not surprisingly, each time I read it, it evokes different emotions, and I notice something new. The plot revolves around Bear who has a story to tell. Many readers will ...more
Nov 06, 2012 Betsy rated it it was amazing
Sweetness. And not in a cloying sense at all. Circular like If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, gorgeous illustrations like Waiting for Winter, sweet story of a bear (reminiscent of Bear Snores On or Old Bear), and yet better than all of these. (Save perhaps for Waiting for Winter, a personal fave).

My kids immediately wanted to reread it as soon as we finished it (so of course I obliged... the book then went with one child for rest time to be cherished on his own time). That's one of the things I love
Jan 05, 2013 David rated it really liked it
Bear Has a Story to Tell by Philip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead is a circular story about Bear's friends who are busy with Fall preparations, migration and hibernation, forcing Bear to wait until Spring to tell them his story.

Stead's illustrations really highlight the size of Bear and the vastness of nature and the outdoors versus Bear's much smaller friends. The nearly identical first and last images truly bring this story full circle. My favorite images are cover, finding seeds, win
Oct 14, 2012 Bookandahug rated it it was amazing
These people simply enchant me. I am talking about Philip C. Stead and Erin E. Stead. They are wonderful, lovely, sensitive, profoundly talented people and we are so, so lucky that they direct their talents, their energies, their insights into creating fabulous books for children.

Here is the latest in their beautiful picture book journey. Meet Bear. He is a kindly, friendly, vulnerable and very tired fellow and he has a story to tell. He's out gallumphing through the woods in search of a friend
Richard Ward
Jan 10, 2016 Richard Ward rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Small children.
A picture storybook for adults to read to small children, especially good for a bedtime story. Husband & wife team Philip & Erin Stead from Ann Arbor, Michigan won the American Library Association's prestigious Caldecott Medal for A Sick Day For Amos McGee. They return with Bear Has A Story To Tell, another sweet story about animals. Bear wants to tell his friends (Mouse, Duck, Frog, & Mole) a story but they are all too much in a hurry preparing for winter. When spring returns Bear n ...more
Cheryl Dickemper
Jul 27, 2012 Cheryl Dickemper rated it really liked it
Shelves: caldecott
Readers who loved A Sick Day for Amos McGee will appreciate the soft and beautifully detailed watercolor illustrations in this next book from the husband and wife author/illustrator team, as well as the subtle character education message about being a patient and caring friend. Because the message is a bit understated and serious, a book like this may not be as popular right off the bat with a lot of kids as some of the more raucous read-alouds on the bookshelf. However, I think this is the kind ...more
Lu Benke
Exquisite color and good layout for the illustrations with the sense of more happening off the page. The plot seemed cheesy to begin with, but I found myself liking the way it ended. I liked the way that the animals preparing for winter had the ring of authenticity for each of the animals involved. And, the idea of a character being repeatedly told to delay the telling of a story to others is a fairly common one within HUMAN families. So, the question remains, am I okay with the mixture of authe ...more
Kristen Dota
Oct 14, 2013 Kristen Dota rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. Children are able to learn about the different animals in the book and how they prepare for winter. I also enjoyed how the bear never gave up on trying to tell his story even when spring did arrive. The bear brought each of the animals a gift when spring arrived even when they were so quick to leave bear before winter. The ending was my favorite part when the bear finally remembered his story, and when you turn the page to start it, its actually the first page at the ...more
Feb 10, 2015 Beth rated it it was amazing
When bear wants to tell his woodland friends a story before he goes to sleep for the winter, he discovers that his friends are making their own preparations and don't have time for his story. Upon waking up in the spring, bear gathers his friends to tell his story but the problem is: winter is a long time to remember.

These are some of the most gentle, soothing illustrations I've ever had the privilege of viewing within the pages of a picture book. I'm thinking some sort of heavy medal needs to
Sep 25, 2012 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: childrens, 2012
This is a sweet story about the changing of the seasons, patience, and the importance of taking time out of our busy, busy schedule to 'talk story,' as they say in Hawaii. Sometimes we lose sight of our own friendships and our need to connect. This story reminds us.

The watercolor illustrations complement the story nicely and the book is appropriate for all ages, but may speak to adults the most. We really enjoyed reading this book together.
The Library Lady
Oct 06, 2012 The Library Lady rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I sincerely hope that this does NOT win the Caldecott because the Steads have already been deservedly recognized for their stellar A Sick Day For Amos McGee and I would like to see someone else get the spotlight. That said, this is a lovely, sweet book with gentle, muted illustrations that will make this more for lap reading than for a group.
Jan 04, 2016 June rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: bear, hibernating and storytelling requests
Recommended to June by: Cap Choices
Shelves: picture-book, autumn, bear
A bear has a story to tell before winter, but all his friends are too busy getting ready for the winter. Bear helps all his friends, but can he remember the story until next spring?

Beautiful illustrations and nice use of white space. 10/20/12

Had a small group for story time, so I read this. Forgot how much I loved the illustrations.

Boy at PJ Time chose this as his second book.
Jun 10, 2012 Mary rated it it was amazing
Beautiful. Simply beautiful. Both text and illustrations. Especially like the picture of bear testing the direction of the wind for duck, and the double-page spread of bear watching the first snowflakes fall.
Edward Sullivan
Sep 30, 2012 Edward Sullivan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
As perfect as a picture book can be.
Sep 26, 2012 Elisabeth rated it really liked it
For me, very reminiscent of A Sick Day for Amos McGee - which is a good thing. A very good thing!
Dec 10, 2012 Clay rated it it was amazing
Just for the vast emotion she can get in the tilt of Bear's head. Lovely.
Elijah Libert
Oct 25, 2016 Elijah Libert rated it it was amazing
This is a really good book. I have already read it five times.
Oct 18, 2016 Ragaius rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
About 32 pages
Art and story by husband and wife, or related
Love the rendering of the bear.
Bear is kind to his friends as they prepare for winter, and they return his kindness later.
Reinforces friendship and support among friends
Jennifer Lavonier
Sep 28, 2012 Jennifer Lavonier rated it it was amazing
Sick Day for Amos McGee, Erin and Philip Stead’s first book, is extraordinary, and was awarded the Caldecott Medal. That was Erin’s first book. Philip is an illustrator, as well as a writer, and has published three other books of his own. Erin’s second book, And Then It’s Spring— written by Julie Fogliano—is stunning. Bear Has a Story to Tell is Erin’s third book, and the second for the husband and wife team.

I am not overstating when I say this: these three contributions to the world of childre
Jennifer Heise
Sep 22, 2016 Jennifer Heise rated it liked it
Shelves: seasons, picturebook, kids
A sweet little story, though some kids might have trouble with the idea that being patient about other people's needs while waiting to have your say... might lead to having forgotten the story before you get a chance to talk. But I like the fact that Bear helps his friends and the illustrations are very attractive. Good for a fall storytime.
Dec 04, 2012 Tasha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Fall was ending and winter was coming, but before he hibernated, Bear had a story to tell. Unfortunately, the other animals were too busy to hear the story. Mouse was gathering seeds and when Bear helped Mouse find lots of seeds, Mouse tunneled underground for the winter. Duck was getting ready to fly south and all Bear had time to do was check the wind direction for him and say he would miss Duck before he flew off. Frog too was looking for a warm place to sleep. Bear helped dig a hole for him ...more
Sep 13, 2012 Melissa rated it really liked it
Bear Has a Story to Tell is a sweet story that I believe should have a good chance of winning the Caldecott Medal in 2013. The author and illustrator are the husband and wife team of Philip and Erin Stead, who also happen to have written and illustrated 2011 Caldecott Medal winner, A Sick Day for Amos McGee. Because they are previous medal winners, I know that this duo is American born and thus eligible to win again. One of the main reasons why I think this story should win the award next year i ...more
Ali Martini
Sep 23, 2016 Ali Martini rated it liked it
1st grade, watercolor bears
Sep 18, 2013 Linda rated it it was amazing
Author: Philip C. Stead
Illustrator: Erin E. Stead

The Steads are a talented couple who have written and illustrated another great book. Friendship and patience are central to this sweet story.

A bear, readying for winter, wants to tell his friends a story, but they are all too busy preparing for winter themselves. Winter passes; bear wakes from his winter's nap, wanting to tell his story. After a forgetful moment and patient encouragement from his friends, he is finally able to tell a story. Here
Kacy Sutton
“Bear Has a Story to Tell” is about a bear who wants to tell his friends a story. His friends are all so busy getting ready for winter though. Mouse has to gather seeds, duck has to fly south, and all of his friends are just too busy. So, bear helps them get ready and then they all separate for winter. When spring time rolls around the friends are all eager to hear bear’s story. Bear knew the story he wanted to tell months ago, but now he cannot remember it. With the help of his friends, they al ...more
Jan 25, 2015 Mj rated it really liked it
Bear Has a Story to Tell is the second picture-book collaboration by husband and wife team - Philip C. Stead and Erin D. Stead - Philip being the story’s author and Erin the illustrator.

Their collaboration is a real delight for both young children and adults. This picture-book is a story about patience and friendship. The readers also learn about nature and how different animals prepare for winter. Besides being fun to read aloud, the book raises many questions about give and take in a friendsh
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