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Bear in Love

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  371 Ratings  ·  86 Reviews
Could the bear have a secret friend? Who is leaving him surprises? The ever-lovable Daniel Pinkwater spins a funny and sweetly offbeat story.

One morning, the bear finds something just outside his cave. It is orange and long and pointy and has bushy green leaves at one end. And it’s sweet and crunchy! Where did it come from? Did someone leave it for him? Then there are two
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published August 14th 2012 by Candlewick Press
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Lisa Vegan
May 07, 2012 Lisa Vegan rated it liked it
Recommends it for: young preschool aged kids who enjoy gentle stories
The illustrations are adorable.

The story is likely to appeal to the youngest children, up through age 4, maybe 5 or 6. It’s a sweet, albeit a bit weird, friendship story, and a story about sharing and giving. The various foods all look appealing, and some of them are healthy: carrots, honey, blueberries, raisin cookie, chocolate candy bar, and all but the honey are vegan or could be vegan. There is a non-edible daisy flower too. Funnily enough, while the angry bees didn’t keep the bear from taki
Robyn Jones
Jul 08, 2013 Robyn Jones rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, childrens
Bear wakes up to find a carrot sitting on a rock right outside his cave. What a wonderful treat. The next day, two carrots greet him. Each day follows the trend, inspiring Bear to sing little tunes as he strolls through the forest. My son loves this book. I love the illustrations. And if I read the story in a soothing, Kindergarten teacher voice, it's fun for both of us. I like the message, the gift giver is a rabbit with the sweetest voice...uh, okay, I do a sweet voice when I say rabbit's line ...more
Vera Godley
Sep 09, 2012 Vera Godley rated it really liked it
When you first pick up Bear in Love you will fall totally in love with these delightful, loveable, gentle illustrations of bear as he ambles along through his day. Illustrator Will Hillenbrand has portrayed bear as a gentle giant and loveable critter for the young child to whom you will be reading this book.

Most children have a stuffed teddy bear that they already love. So it is somewhat an understatement that they love bears already. Well, here is another that they will love. There are teddy be
Aug 21, 2012 Angela rated it liked it
Shelves: bears
I'm a little torn here. I was really taken by Bear--he sure is a Pinkwater creation, but some aspects marginally marred my love. Sure, this reminds me of Winnie the Pooh, but only slightly. And it's a touch clunky, especially the songs, yet it seems to fit with Bear's quirky personality. I do believe the story went on a little too long. I laughed out loud over the misperceptions with Bear and bunny, something great to point out with reading aloud. Though the length and clunkiness were a little o ...more
Jul 02, 2012 Angela rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I'm not sure what he intended, but this comes off as more of an homage to Winnie-the-Pooh, than a Pinkwater original.

We follow a bear, who finds treats left by a mysterious creature and then sings little ditties about his discoveries. At some point he decides to return the favors and attempt to unveil the unseen, but generous "friend". It gets a little confusing for the reader (depsite Pinkwater's parenthetical note)when the two finally do converse, but it shortly becomes a typical perpetual fr
David Schaafsma
May 23, 2014 David Schaafsma rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
I like Daniel Pinkwater so much. Quirky. This one is sweeter than quirky, but still sup rising as we see who the secret food sharer is… I just read this to the kids and they liked it but hated the songs, found them comically bad. And while I was making up music on the fly, I kind of had the feeling that he was doing this on purpose to parent readers, not making cute little rhymes (because NONE of them are cute little rhymes), and not really song like things at all. But see? This is the kind of b ...more
Mar 09, 2013 Kathryn rated it really liked it
The illustrations really won me over. I loved them! So sweet and expressive. I wanted to give Bear a big hug.

The story is also sweet, though perhaps not destined to be one of my favorite "friendship stories."
Samantha Duncan
Sep 09, 2012 Samantha Duncan rated it really liked it
1. The genre for this book is: fantasy.

2. "Bear in Love" is a picture book that illustrates a sweet bear who receives 'gifts' outside of his cave one morning and then again the next morning. He begins to wonder who the special someone is who is giving him the 'gifts'. He begins to leave 'gifts' for his new friend and towards the end he meets his friend and finds that it's a bunny.

3. A)The main concept in this book is it's illustrations.
B) The best part of this book was the illustrations. What
Jennifer Heise
A sweet little book about a Bear who finds an offering of carrots outside his den, and begins to think about and joyfully anticipate exchanges with the new friend he is making sight unseen through things they leave for each other. Finally, he meets Rabbit, his exchange pal, and they talk long long into the night and enjoy each other's company.

That's all, that's all there is to the story.

The illustrations are adorable, the plot charming. The Bear's 'singing to himself' is a bit of a stumbling b
Aug 14, 2012 Ariana rated it really liked it
This is a lovely story of how Bear and Bunny became friends. One morning Bear found a carrot just outside his cave, and happy with the new flavor he started singing. The next morning he found two other carrots and so for; then he started leaving his own favorite foods for his mysterious good friend. When they finally meet face to face, Bear and Bunny thank each other for the gifts and become friends. The illustrations are made in mixed media. The colour palette is mostly in light blues, greens a ...more
Aug 28, 2012 Mary rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
Pinkwater and Hillenbrand have teamed up to create an endearing story about an adorable bear and his secret friend. One morning, bear discovers a long orange treat outside his cave. Bear sings "Very good indeed."

The next day there are two more and Bear wonders who is leaving these sweet, crunchy gifts. The third morning: "'Crunchy things! Three of them! I will eat two now and save one for later.' But he ate them all."

Bear is delightfully intrigued and determined to find out who is the someone n
Vernon Area Public Library KIDS
I'm generally not one to classify picture books as "sweet." But I'm going to make an exception. This is one of the sweetest little picture books I've read in a while. While looking for food one morning, bear discovers something "orange and long and pointy and had green bushy leaves at one end." A carrot! What a marvelous treat! Bear is so happy, he sings a song about it. The next day, there are two carrots, and Bear realizes that someone must be leaving those treats for him. And so a few days la ...more
Rebecca Grabill
Jan 24, 2016 Rebecca Grabill rated it really liked it
The sweet illustrations perfectly match an equally sweet story of a surprising friendship. A bear finds surprises (edible ones) and eventually starts leaving gifts of his own. Of course the adult in me was thinking, "No, don't it's a hunter's ploy! He wants you for a bearskin rug!" But it wasn't a hunter. Nope, rather a sweet little... HAH I won't spoil it. The repetition was engaging, but overall I thought it was perhaps a bit too repetitive. The back and forth went on perhaps too long without ...more
Sep 20, 2012 Holly rated it really liked it
I thought this was such a sweet story. I saw the illustrator, Will Hillenbrand, at The Blue Manatee yesterday. He was so great with the kids and had such interesting things to say about picture book making, that I think I rated this book higher than I would have if I had read it on my own. It's a story of Bear who starts receiving mysterious gifts, and he wonders who the special friend might be. He tries to entice the mysterious gift-giver with gifts of his own. When the two friends come togethe ...more
Jan 15, 2014 babyhippoface rated it really liked it
FIRST: That cover is the cutest thing I've seen in a long time. I cannot resist.

As for the rest of it, the actual book... egad, it's adorable. Over-the-top cute. What a sweet, sweet story of a new friendship. What I really like about the friendship between Bear and Rabbit is that is began with giving. They each left surprises for the other just hoping each gift would be pleasing to the finder. They gave up delightful treats they loved to make someone else happy. Unselfish and perfect. This would
Feb 15, 2014 Renee rated it really liked it
Bear wakes to find someone special is leaving him these long, orange crunching things (carrots). He tries to figure out who continues to surprise him with such nice treats while in the meantime, trying to return the favor.

Used this for my Valentine's theme for my Preschool Story Class. The kids loved it. The text and illustrations really allowed for the kids to participate with what they saw and predicted would happen. It got quite a few laughs!

One little boy said when we looked at the cover a
Oct 02, 2012 Amanda rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 20, 2012 Alicia rated it liked it
Shelves: easy, 2012-read
I love Pinkwater and Hillenbrand, but this book, while sweet, reminded me of an improvised bedtime story - just okay. And I agree with the reviewer who called it an homage to Pooh - although I would go so far as to say derivative, not homage. I'm sure Pinkwater would do a great job with the little songs Bear sings, but when I tried them aloud they were awkward and choppy. Okay - enough negative. The pictures were sweet and I bet kids would enjoy the idea of little (delicious) gifts.
Jan 09, 2013 Anna rated it it was amazing
This book is just too cute to be allowed. I love the little songs that Bear sings, and the great vocabulary and ways of thinking of others that Bear demonstrates ('This is frustrating' thought the bear....He hummed and thought about what it would be like for someone to find the chocolate bar" The mixed media illustrations are done with muted colors that highlight the peaceful world Bear inhabits and the rosy-cheeked animals are darling.
Feb 13, 2013 Dolly rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: childrens, 2013
This is a very cute story, but the title left me confused. Bear loves his carrots, but this is not a tale about Bear actually falling in love.

The story follows bear as he tries to discover who is leaving him gifts, and the ending is very sweet. But I still turned back to the cover page and thought, "huh."

Still, the illustrations are adorable and the narrative is sure to entertain young children. We enjoyed reading this book together.

Sandy Brehl
Sep 08, 2012 Sandy Brehl rated it really liked it
If you've ever heard Daniel Pinkwater in an interview or reading a story aloud, you'll hear his voice throughout this book. The gentle story unfolds slowly, with gradual characterization of an appreciative and kind bear, an unknown but generous admirer, and an eventually genuine friendship between a bunny and a bear: "You might think there would be some confusion at this point, but apparently not".
Wendy Darling
A sweet book with a nice idea (someone is leaving presents for the bear!), but one that is puzzlingly long at 40 pages, with perhaps a little too much lead-in and not enough of a payoff.

Still, it's a nice library read for little ones, though some of the language may be too sophisticated for young ears. Charming illustrations, though.

An advance copy was provided by the publisher for this review.
Nov 15, 2012 Samantha rated it it was ok
Bear has a mysterious special friend who leaves him gifts of carrots and he's curious to meet him. When at last the two friends meet they mistake each other for bunnies and bears.

A bit long for a read aloud. Not much happens in this book, though it does have beautiful pictures. The tone and pacing of the story reminds me of another famous bear (Winnie the Pooh).
A cute story about a bear and a mysterious friend who keeps leaving the bear tasty treats so the bear shares with the friend and discovers that he is a bunny. Very adorable illustrations, though my biggest gripe was that the book went on forever. I know both my son and I were getting bored by the end of it. Recommended for ages 3-7, 3 stars.
Jan 09, 2015 Alice rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-25-stars
3.25 I don't know what to think about this book. I was looking for a book about love for someone. They didn't want too sappy but not too serious either. The book doesn't talk about love..but I guess I can assume the Bear is in love with the gifts the bunnies leaves...or is he in love with the bunny.... Not Thrilled
Age: Preschool - Kindergarten

This would make an excellent read-aloud with a little song on every other page. Also great for engaging the audience with suspense building over the mystery giver. I wish there was clues that the kids could try to guess (other than guessing which animal would give carrots).
Sep 12, 2012 Mary rated it really liked it
Bear may be in love, but I think I love Bear too. I especially love how he sings little songs to himself (I do that too). I love how he wants to reciprocate and leave things for the mystery benefactor. I love how he uses words like "frustrating." And, I especially love how Will Hillenbrand draws him, soft and happy and with bright rosy cheeks.
Nov 17, 2012 June rated it really liked it
This is a cute story. One morning, Bear wakes up to find a carrot in front of his cave. The next morning,there are two, the next three, then a whole bunch. He decides he should leave some honey in return, and gets a flower back. He leaves some blueberries, but is unable to stay awake and finds a raisin cookie. He leaves a chocolate bar and finally meets his friend.
Marta-Kate Jackson
Aug 17, 2012 Marta-Kate Jackson rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
While I always love Will Hillenbrand's work, I found his illustrations for "Bear in Love" to be utterly delightful. The soft blues and greens make for a soothing and sweet backdrop for an equally sweet story.
Dec 03, 2012 Amy rated it really liked it
Small gifts keep appearing outside bear's cave! Who is leaving such nice, thoughtful presents? Could it be that cute little bear that looks suspiciously like a bunny?

This book is super cute. Good vocab for read-aloud time and songs you can make up a tune for and sing along with bear.
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Daniel Manus Pinkwater is an author of mostly children's books and is an occasional commentator on National Public Radio. He attended Bard College. Well-known books include Lizard Music, The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death, Fat Men from Space, Borgel, and the picture book The Big Orange Splot. Pinkwater has also illustrated many of his books in the past, although for more recent works that ...more
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