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A Story for Bear
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A Story for Bear

4.55 of 5 stars 4.55  ·  rating details  ·  183 ratings  ·  54 reviews
Open your heart and imagination to this magical fantasy about friendship and reading...

One sunlit afternoon, ab ear discovers a mysterious fragment of paper that leads him to a cabin and to an unlikely friend. Although he can't understand her words, he returns day after day all summer to hear the woman read to him. Each night he carries the sound of her stories--of sailors...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 1st 2002 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 295)
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Sniffle! I'm so in love with this book. It brought tears to my eyes. It's such a beautiful story about a bear who becomes infatuated with the written word when he finds an old letter fluttering in the forest. When he later happens upon a lady reading near her cabin in the woods, he shyly watches and sees how the book she is holding makes her feel so many different emotions. When she discovers the bear, she invites him over and reads aloud to him. It's so very sweet and dear.

This story celebrate...more
Lisa Vegan
Aug 19, 2012 Lisa Vegan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: all who enjoy the written word, particularly those who appreciate being read to from books
Recommended to Lisa by: Kathryn
Magical! This book is magical.

I could talk about warning kids not to get too close to wild bears or I could worry about loss and separation and how kids will react, but no; with this story these worries are not uppermost in my mind as they might be with other books.

This story might now be one of my favorites on my books-about-books shelf, and that’s saying a lot.

I love this illustrator and I adore this book’s pictures. The bear is particularly wonderfully depicted, but everything about the illus...more
Oct 18, 2014 GoldGato rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Lovers of books, parents reading to toddlers
Lovely. I purchased this book for the illustrations by Jim LaMarche, but the story by Dennis Haseley hooked me. This is a tale of a solitary but very curious Bear, who discovers a scrap of paper with words on it. What are those scratchings? Where did they come from? What do they mean? Bear keeps the paper and hides it in his cave.

Through the years, the bear looked at the paper with wonder - it seemed as far away and mysterious as the moon.

Remember being a child and looking with wonder upon your...more
I loved, loved, loved this book. It was a quiet, soothing, perfect story of a bear and a wman who read to him. I was tearing up when she went home for the winter and left all of her books on the blanket for him. I remember thinking what a powerful book that could be in the hands of a person advocating the power of parents reading to their children. The bear's pleasure with the words despite not understanding what they meant sums up the experience perfectly: that it's about more than just the exc...more
Jul 23, 2012 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: 2012, childrens
This is a sweet, quiet story about a bear who finds a letter and becomes fascinated with words on paper. He discovers a woman reading outside and as he returns each day, coming closer and closer, she eventually begins to read to him. I liked the message about the magic of books and the emotional ties to stories. I also liked the fact that this story celebrates reading aloud.

I thought the illustrations were terrific, but the story seemed off to me - perhaps it's the unlikely behavior of the bear...more
You must read this book! It is so touching, so warm, and kind. I felt as if I were there under the trees as the woman read to me in her kind, gentle voice. You can almost smell the pine trees! The illustrations are a story by themselves! The illustrator captured the heart of the bear. I loved the way the bear looked so lovingly and respectfully at the woman as she shared her stories with him. I read this tender story to my kindergartners and they were mesmerized. At the beginning of the school y...more
Stephanie Jobe
This enchanting tale is all about friendship and the wonders of reading. A bear finds a scrap of paper with strange markings on it and fascinated takes it back to his cave. Then he sees a woman reading these rectangular things filled with the marks. A strange friendship begins to develop. He even shares the words he found with her but the woman cannot stay at the cabin forever but she leaves her books to keep bear company. The acrylic paint and colored pencil illustrations leave you with a warm...more
I have to say, I quite enjoyed this little book, despite its inherent implausibility. The pictures are warm and inviting. The bear expresses a peaceful curiosity, and there is a harmony between human and beast that is wonderful. This is a splendid and lovely book.
Nov 01, 2007 Stephanie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: adults and children
With amazing illustrations Jim LaMarche had done an excellent job of conveying a love of reading. This simple and sweet story will make you want to forget about our too crazy lives and go and sit and the woods and read. Something I always recommend doing. Children 1st - 4th grade will enjoy this book and so will the adult reading it.
Gorgeous and magical. The power of reading, of words, of story: the power of the sound of a dear voice telling the story.
Magical and wonderful! This is the sort of story that fills your heart with delight :)
I absolutely love this magical book!!! I initially encountered it on a trip to the local library. I had checked it out to read to my young daughter. As I read it, I fell in love! I couldn't bear to part with it (forgive my pun!) so I went out and bought a copy so I could forever relive the feelings it brought out in me. Some books touch you and leave an indelible imprint on a book lover's soul. For me, this was one of those books. I read it and I read it often. It is hands down, one of my most f...more
Ivonne Tamez
En su paseo diario por el bosque un joven oso encuentra
un trozo de papel escrito junto a un seto. Aunque no puede
leerlo, causa en él tal magnetismo y curiosidad que lo
guarda como un tesoro. Algunos años más tarde durante el
verano, dando un paseo, observa a una joven con la
mirada puesta en un libro. Este espectáculo que relaciona
con el papel que todavía conserva, le empujará a acudir
todos los días a oír su mágica voz, aun sin comprender
nada, y a escuchar las historias que la joven lee tod...more
K McClelland
I wanted to rate this book, even though I don't typically review children's books, because this one was great. I recommend this, really recommend it. All children should hear this story. It's great because it teaches a lot. First you've got the bear letting his curiosity take him around the forest. Desire to know, to understand brings him to the woman. Trust from the woman and the bear in each aspect necessary for them. A desire to know stories even though he's an animal and so many people think...more
A mother stopped to speak to me today and during our conversation she described with much enthusiasm how she loved reading this book with her children. Wrapping her arms around herself, she said it was the sweetest, warmest, and coziest book she had ever read. When I looked it up and said I'd like to read it, she begged me to read it within the next week so that she could ask me about it the next time she came in. So, as soon as I had a moment I read it. It was most definitely warm and fuzzy. As...more
I have read this book to many children, young adults, and adults. It is my very favorite book to read aloud. It is gorgeous; the artwork is outstanding and the story is magical. It is a simple tale of one woman, one bear, and many books. Treat yourself, read this book!
Reviewed at:

Summary: Bear finds a letter in the forest and becomes fascinated with the idea of writing. One afternoon in the summer, he finds a young woman reading and is enchanted by her and her books. He continues coming back and she shares stories with him all summer.

What I Think: First, I have to tell you that at the moment when the bear and woman meet, my first reaction was RUN! Now, I am happy she didn't, but this would not be a book to teach bear...more
Ms Threlkeld
Talk about a tearjerker! This book beautifully expresses the power of reading and books and explores how we are changed by the stories we read and are told. I love everything about this book.
Sweet story about a bear and a women who share a love of books and reading one fall. This would be a fun book to read aloud with children then ask what they would think if a bear came up next to them? How would they feel? Do you think you could be brave enough to sit and read to a bear?

Reading to animals helps encourage reading and builds confidence with children. There are local programs, like Read to Rover, that go to schools and libraries that bring in dogs for children to read to. Maybe ins...more
a fun story of a bear and a woman. My kids love it!
I loved this story so much. I loved the imagery and the beauty of the words. The illustrations were perfect and it was a joy to read out loud to my children. My daughter liked it but they all looked at me like I was crazy when I cried a bit at the end. I couldnt help it. It was so perfect. It hit home with the beauty of the woods and words and described books so perfectly. The bear was perfect too and I just loved it all. I will buy it for my kids for their own bookshelf soon.
This gentle and heartwarming story became an instant family favorite the first time we read it! The love that bear feels for the lady with the books, and then for the books she leaves for him, is portrayed in both the tender illustrations and storytelling. Anyone who has every spent magical moments lost in their favorite books will understand the joy of this sweet story.
Erica Rhodes
This is a beautiful story about a bear meeting a human who loves to read on her summer away. The illustrations are beautiful and my children loved them. They're artistic, which is nice compared to many children's books. We saw it at the library, but I think we need to get a copy to keep in our home. It's a favorite.
A beautiful story about a Bear who finds a letter and soon falls in love with books and stories with the help of an unexpected kind friend. The illustrations are soothing, calm, and comforting...the perfection tones for a beautiful story that is sure to the warm the heart of book-lovers everywhere.
One of my very favorite books, for the story line and the illustrations.
As the review mentions, it celebrates the joy of reading, and being read to. Both of these bring heart-warming memories of being read to as a child and then reading to my own children. Must read in my opinion.
One sunlit afternoon, ab ear discovers a mysterious fragment of paper that leads him to a cabin and to an unlikely friend. Although he can't understand her words, he returns day after day all summer to hear the woman read to him. Each night he carries the sound of her stories--of sailors.
Beautiful colored pencil pictures of a very fuzzy bear who sits at a summer cabin, listening to a lady who reads to him. It is a bittersweet story, and beautifully done, but I don't appreciate bittersweet stories, so I hated the ending.
The story is a little improbable (what with the whole woman reading to a bear premise). Still, the illustrations are gorgeous and the story is quiet and warm. It went over surprisingly well for library storytime for grades k-2.
I generally disapprove of books depicting people hanging out with wild animals in non-absurdist scenarios. But this one doesn't anthropomorphize the bear as I would have expected. It's a strange little story. Poignant too.
Everytime I read this I cry. Kindergarteners don't understand why it is so touching, but having taught Second Language Learners to read, it is so emotional for me. Also, Jim LaMarche is such an incredible illustrator!
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