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Bear Has a Story to Tell
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Bear Has a Story to Tell

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  2,169 ratings  ·  336 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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2013 Mock Caldecott
10th out of 97 books — 235 voters
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7th out of 71 books — 67 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
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.
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
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
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
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
Cheryl Dickemper
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
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
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
Sep 25, 2012 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: 2012, childrens
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.
Xin Luan
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
Nov 21, 2013 June rated it 4 of 5 stars
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.
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.
For me, very reminiscent of A Sick Day for Amos McGee - which is a good thing. A very good thing!
Mrs. Crosland
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
Just for the vast emotion she can get in the tilt of Bear's head. Lovely.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
As usual I was sucked in by the cover, but not disappointed AT ALL! What a charming book. Lovingly painted and drawn by E.E. Stead,, and written by P..C. Stead , who must really understand animals, ,the lumbering milk chocolate bear has a story to tell and one by one he seeks out his friends to share the story with, has the time to listen.
He first approaches the mouse, so tiny just looking for food to get through winter, bear can help with that, but the mouse has not enough time for a story. As
All the animals are getting ready for winter. Bear is looking for someone to listen to his story but everyone is busy. Instead of pressing the issue, Bear helps his friends get ready for winter themselves. When spring arrives all of Bear's friends gather around him waiting to hear the story Bear wanted to tell. Bear can't remember.

"Bear Has a Story to Tell" is appropriate for ages 2+.

I have found my new favorite book! This book is so sweet and wonderful. Bear is a big, lumbering, kind character
Bear Has a Story to Tell by Philip Stead is a good book and I enjoyed it. This book has an important story to tell, and with wintertime fast approaching, the Bear he only has so long to share it before comes time to hibernate. The thing is, all of his friends are getting ready for the coming of colder weather. Mouse is busy gathering seeds, Duck is getting ready to migrate, and Toad has to find a warm place to sleep-none of them have time to listen to Bear’s story. Being a kind and generous fell ...more
Patti Richards
This book is a picture-book lover’s dream. Bear Has a Story to Tell, By Philip C. Stead and Erin E. Stead (Roaring Brook Press, 2012) has the biggest, cuddliest-looking bear I have ever seen as the main character. But Bear has a problem; he’s getting very sleepy and wants to tell a story, but all his forest friends are busy getting ready for winter. He helps Mouse gather seeds, tests the wind for Duck, looks for a warm place for Frog to sleep and checks on Mole before settling down for his own w ...more
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
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
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