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The Bear in the Book
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The Bear in the Book

3.34  ·  Rating Details  ·  316 Ratings  ·  99 Reviews
It's time for bed, and a little boy chooses his favorite book for his mother to read to him. The bear inthe book is preparing for his own deep slumber, hibernating through the winter while humans and other animals explore the snowy landscape around him. Just when the bear wakes up to greet the spring, the boy drifts off to sleep. Kate Banks’soft and rhythmic textis brought ...more
Hardcover, 36 pages
Published October 16th 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Richie Partington
Nov 24, 2012 Richie Partington rated it it was amazing
Richie’s Picks: THE BEAR IN THE BOOK by Kate Banks and Georg Hallensleben, ill., Farrar, Straus & Giroux, October 2012, 36p., ISBN: 978-0-374-305918

“Crocuses popped up through the earth.
A fox drank from a pond.
‘I’m thirsty,’ said the little boy,
His mother got him a glass of water.
The boy held the book. He listened to the sound
the pages made when he turned them back and forth.
‘Shh,’ he said to the sleeping bear.”

The last time I wrote about the circle time movement song “Sleeping Bears” was f
A quiet, sweet, bedtime cuddle book that does a great job of modeling all that a reading together experience can be. The story sparks talk about how a boy and his mother feel and what they like. It makes the boy think and ask questions, which his mom answers. The two snuggle as they read, making it clear that this is special time that they both enjoy. This book in NOT didactic, but to those of us who try and encourage reading together in ways that help young people's brains grown, this is lovely ...more
Jim Erekson
Feb 07, 2013 Jim Erekson rated it liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
The post-modern turn of the book about a book experience is not something new. Hallensleben's control of composition captured the expansive material feeling of a picture book. His renditions of page turns, crossing the gutter, and having your body immersed in the world of the book all felt fresh and were my favorite parts of the book. Banks' words added to this experience giving a little of the boy and his mom, and a little of the book with each set of words.

But. Yet another book about bedtime?
Nov 19, 2012 Tamara rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
There is a LOT going on here. A bedtime story, a hibernation story, a story within a awareness, seek & find, color identification...

Packed with early literacy goodies, but seemed a bit disjointed to me. Might work well if read repeatedly over consecutive nights?
Nov 29, 2012 Tasha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
A little boy sits in bed reading a book with his mother. It’s a book about a bear getting ready to sleep for the winter. The boy and his mother share the story together, talking about the pictures and the bear. The bear eats and eats, getting ready to hibernate until he finally curls up and falls asleep. Then the snow comes, and the little boy can almost feel the cold from the page of the book. He looks closely at the pictures and finds hidden animals in the snowy landscape. The snow continues a ...more
Alyssa Paulson
Feb 17, 2016 Alyssa Paulson rated it it was amazing
This book was very unique in many ways. There are essentially two storylines occurring throughout the book, as a little boy reads before bed with his mother about a bear hibernating. It has wonderful, painted illustrations that help to support the story, as well as extend it. Also, this book would be a good tool to use when teaching about personification; There are many examples of this, such as "the wind blew its icy breath..." (p. 9). Overall, this was a great read!
The Library Lady
Jan 30, 2013 The Library Lady rated it really liked it
THIS is the sort of book that should've won the Caldecott instead of soon to date hipster crap.

The experience of being curled up warm in bed, reading with a loving parent, is universal and timeless. The interaction between parent and child is exactly what all the librarians who genuflect thrice daily to the tenets of "Every Child Ready to Read" are supposed to be striving towards. And the art is beautiful without being fussy with texture that is almost tactile.

When books about fish w/hats and c
Feb 01, 2013 Kathy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
Listening to a bedtime story about a bear hibernating a small boy falls asleep.
This perfect picture book is a celebration of bedtime story time. The listener is very young, maybe 2 or 3. He names animals in the pictures and experiences the bookness of the book, its sharp corners and pages that turn. He gets distracted, gets a drink, and pays attention again. The art is completely child-like, especially the house with the smoke coming from the chimney, but the movement in these illustrations keep
A gentle celebration of the bedtime reading ritual. Very nice model of what reading to kids can look like; sharing, talking, making connections.
Nov 06, 2012 Kerri rated it liked it
This is the picture book version of inception. A book within a book.
Edward Sullivan
Nov 28, 2012 Edward Sullivan rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Lovely bedtime story with a playful POV.
Teresa Moreland
The reader is immediately brought into the cozy life of a bear getting ready for hibernation. I found connection in this book to the comforting ritual of sleep. The book starts off with a mother reading to her son. Within a couple pages, the illustrations bring the boy (and the readers) into the book, making an even deeper connection to the bear’s story. This would be a great bedtime or naptime read, but could also be read before or during a science lesson about bears and hibernation.
A book about a boy and his mother...reading a book! We see the story they are reading is about a hibernating bear and winter activities, but the focus is on the experience of shared reading as mother and son snuggle over the book and talk about the pictures and the story. A great depiction of together quality time and a terrific example of dialogic reading (for all you professionals out there!). Warm, quiet and gentle.
Jul 14, 2015 Julia rated it it was amazing
A perfect bedtime book for kids. It mixes fantasy with reality and is gentle and by the end everyone is ready for sleep. The language is a bump up from simple phrasing - although it does require a good attention span so this is for more experienced kids at the read-aloud routine.
The rating is mine, my kids were too sleepy and relaxed to care about star ratings.

This is a story about a boy reading a book about a bear in hibernation. I think kids will find it intriguing in that it's like reading a story about themselves reading the same book. It is a reflection of the reader in a way. You'll be lulled to sleep with the quiet, lyrical text and soft, fuzzy illustration. It makes a great bedtime story.
Destinee Sutton
Jan 17, 2013 Destinee Sutton rated it really liked it
I love that this book captures the cozy, safe feeling of being read to as a small child. You could use this book with adults to demonstrate the importance of reading to your children, and how to interact with the book and the child at the same time. Like when the mother says "Shh" because the bear is sleeping, or when they point out the different colors in the illustrations.

I'm going to try this in my evening story time and see if the kids are as lulled by it as I was.

Update: I tried it in sto
Meghan Hunt
Mar 02, 2016 Meghan Hunt rated it really liked it
Shelves: jp-picture-books
My favorite thing about this book is how the story itself models how parents should interact with their kids while reading books to them when they're little. It also shows the bonding that occurs between parent and child during this process.
Sep 27, 2015 Karen rated it really liked it
This is a truly ambitious and clever book. The message is clear: reading awakes the imagination. The story is so gently told, however, that the book doesn't feel like a lesson. And the illustrations are sweetly lovely.
Eva Kelly
Feb 07, 2016 Eva Kelly rated it really liked it
This one is so good! It's not just about bears. It's about books and getting read to. And winter. And snow. What else do you need? How about BEDTIME and being cozy. And deer. So see? It has a little of EVERYTHING.
Kyle Turck
Apr 07, 2013 Kyle Turck rated it liked it
The Bear in the Book was a decent read, but I really thought it took an interesting concept and didn't really go anywhere with it. The illustrations were very good throughout though. The story is about a mother reading a bedtime story to her child, which is about a bear that is sleeping as well, so it is kind of a book inside a book story. The idea was interesting, but the two stories to me felt more forced together than tied together.

I would recommend this to young children, kindergarten age fo
Sharon Lawler
This bedtime story could easily be used as a concept book, comparing the bear's hibernation to the child's bedtime rituals or contrasting the passage of time for the bear and the child. I could feel the soft fur of the bear on the cover, and a couple of the illustrations I would frame.
Pretty meta for a picture book, but a very sweet story about bears, sleeping, cuddling, reading together, and all the other good things in life.
Nov 21, 2012 Samantha rated it really liked it
A boy sits down to read his favorite picture book with his mother before bed. The story is about a bear that hibernates. As the bear is waking up from his long slumber, the boy is drifting off to sleep.

Illustrations really work to bring the reader into the story as at first the point of view is the book about the bear as seen over the child's shoulder and then the focus on the story widens to encompass the entire page. Vibrant paintings bring the story within a story to life and support text sea
Mar 08, 2014 Clarissa rated it liked it
I love Kate Banks. This is a book about a boy and his mother reading a book about a bear, and talking about the book.
May 15, 2014 Aprilj328 rated it liked it
A young boy and his mother read a book about a bear hibernating for the winter.
Reading, Bears, Hibernation
Jun 28, 2016 Kerry rated it liked it
On the Kindergarten summer reading list. Read with my 5yo.
Oct 18, 2014 Clacie rated it liked it
I love books within books & this story was cute.
Ehhhh...this one didn't really work for me, though I could see it being a nice, calming book to read aloud to your child before bedtime or something. That's basically what happens in the book--a mom reads a book about bears to her kid while we look on. It's kind of an odd concept, but actually sort of works. I wish the art were stronger though--it's nice, but certainly doesn't stand out. Some kids and parents might really enjoy this one, especially if they're in the mood for something restful. I ...more
Grace Farquharson
Read every fall! Late fall!
May 20, 2015 Michelle rated it did not like it
Pretty boring winter book!
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Kate Banks has written many books for children, among them Max’s Words, And If the Moon Could Talk, winner of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, and The Night Worker, winner of the Charlotte Zolotow Award. She grew up in Maine, where she and her two sisters and brother spent a lot of time outdoors, and where Banks developed an early love of reading. “I especially liked picture books,” she says, “an ...more
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