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Bear Has a Story to Tell

4.04  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,743 Ratings  ·  370 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 SeegerThe Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William JoyceThis is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
2013 Mock Caldecott
9th out of 97 books — 241 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

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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
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
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
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
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
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
Jan 07, 2015 Amy added it
Shelves: j-picture-books
Bear Has a Story to Tell is the latest book from the author/illustrator team who produced the Caldecott medalist A Sick Day for Amos McGee. The story is very cute: Bear wants to tell all his friends a story, but everyone is too busy getting ready for winter to hear it. Instead of sharing his story, Bear ends up helping his friends with little tasks to prepare for hibernation. Finally, Bear has to return to his cave for his own winter snooze, his story left untold. When he wakes up in the spring, ...more
Allison Linsey
Feb 15, 2016 Allison Linsey rated it really liked it
Bear Has a Story to Tell.

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 helping his friends get ready for winter, would anyone still be awake to hear his story?

This endearing s
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.
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.
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.
Xin Luan
Apr 22, 2014 Xin Luan rated it it was amazing
This is a meaningful story. When children read it, they can see themselves in this story. Maybe some children are Bear, who once wanted to tell a story to others but no one want to listen to him. Maybe others are Duck, Frog, or Mouse, who once reject to listen other's story. They can connect this story with their life easily. Bear didn't find anyone to hear his story before winter. I feel upset when he was rejected again and again. I think children will have same sympathy to Bear. Then, they wil ...more
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.
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!
Mrs. Crosland
Feb 28, 2014 Mrs. Crosland rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crosland-k-5
I LOVED THIS BOOK!! :) It is a sweet story that fits into the genre of fantasy, as the bear has many friends he talks with and interacts with. Throughout the story Bear demonstrates friendship to all of his friends. It would be a great book for read aloud in Kindergarten, followed by discussion about friendship and also a great entry into hibernation (pulling in science!). Children in 1st grade would probably also greatly enjoy this book as individual reading (maybe some advanced in K, or beginn ...more
This is another beautifully illustrated picture book, created by Caldecott Medal winners Philip C. Stead and Erin E. Stead. The fictional story follows Bear through his journey to find a friend who would listen to the story he has to tell. As Bear visits various woodland friends, the audience learns some facts about what those particular animals do to prepare for the winter. The story is centered around themes of hope, persistence, and being a good friend. The fact that book is a circular story ...more
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.
Jun 03, 2015 Margie rated it liked it
Poor bear has a story to share with his animal friends but it is Autumn and as he meets each one they are too busy to stop their preparations for Winter in order to listen. Eventually bear himself falls asleep. When everyone wakes in Spring bear can't remember the story he wanted to share. His animal friends provide ideas and bear begins to tell his story... This is a sweet and gentle story for young readers and listeners; they will also learn a bit about the seasons and how some animals prepare ...more
Jan 24, 2014 Karen rated it it was amazing
My five-year-old son picked this book out from the library this week. My son always has a story to tell, so I thought this was a good choice.

How I love the bear in this story! I absolutely loved the artwork in the sweet book. I understand why none of the animals thought they could listen to bear's story, but, at every lost opportunity, I was sad for the bear.

My son does often have a story to tell. Sometimes, when he has a story, I may be a bit busy -- driving in traffic, taking care of the ani
Nov 08, 2015 Tracy rated it it was amazing
Really lovely. The story is simple and gentle (non-rhyming) about a bear who wants to tell his friends a story, but they are all getting ready for winter and don't have time. The snow comes, the bear sleeps, and in the spring when he wakes, all the friends gather together again, and bear might have the chance to tell his story, if he can remember it. The illustrations are softly colored and simple, and the animals, depicted more realistically and not cartoon-y, are so expressive. Would make a ni ...more
Dec 19, 2014 Kari rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-bks-642
Stead, P., C. (2012). Bear has a story to tell. New York, NY: Roaring Book Press.

School Library Journal- 2012


A sweet, lovable bear has a story to tell to his friends, but unfortunately, none of them have time to stop and listen due to preparations for the coming winter. Finally, the sleepy bear hunkers down into his own cozy den to spend the winter in hibernation. At last, spring has arrived and all of his friends gather around to listen to Bear's tale, but alas, Bear can not remember it.
Aug 21, 2014 Matthew rated it really liked it
From the team that took the Caldecott for A Sick Day for Amos McGee I was expecting something quietly funny once again and they delivered on that. Bear spends the entire book allowing his own desires to be put off for later while he helps his friends prepare for winter and he basically never gets what he wants, simply to tell a story, until it's been too long and he's forgotten his story. I think this could be used to illustrate the benefits of a writer's notebook if you think about it. If Bear ...more
Scott Pagel
Dec 08, 2013 Scott Pagel rated it it was amazing
The creative team behind 2011 Caldecott Medal winner A Sick Day for Amos McGee is back with another tale that engages the reader’s eyes and ears. A gentle bear is getting sleepy but he has a story to tell his friends. Since winter is coming soon, all of bear’s animal friends are busy preparing for winter and do not have time to listen to bear’s story and bear hibernates with the story unshared. Imagine bear’s excitement when he wakes in the spring and is reunited with his friends. He can finally ...more
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