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Old Bear

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  2,399 Ratings  ·  271 Reviews
Snug and warm, curled and furry, Old Bear sleeps.

Red, orange, and brown leaves fly through the air, and it is snowing hard. Old Bear doesn't notice.

Old Bear is dreaming about being a cub again. He is dreaming about the beauty of the world. He is dreaming of everything he loves about the forest that is his home.

Turn the page and you will see!
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published August 19th 2008 by Greenwillow Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan 24, 2009 Christy rated it it was amazing

Readers are immersed into the warm, colorful and imaginative pages beautifully illustrated by Kevin Henkes in Old Bear. After several readings of Old Bear, including a read-aloud for my first-grade class, I have concluded that it is a children’s picture book worthy of consideration for the Caldecott Medal.
Few words are needed to tell the story of the old bear sleeping through the winter and dreaming of his younger, cub days. The seasons and color schemes change as we turn each page. Children
Jul 16, 2009 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
Gosh, I just want to snuggle up to Old Bear! Isn't he the cutest!? The story is simple and whimsical--Old Bear hibernates and has fanciful dreams of being a cub again, sleeping in a flower in spring, catching blueberry-raindrops on his tongue in summer. The illustrations are warm and interesting and capture the curiosity and appreciation for nature that Bear feels.
Oct 19, 2011 David rated it really liked it
Old Bear by Kevin Henkes is a hibernation story about a bear who dreams his way through the winter.

As leaves fly and snowfall begins, Old Bear finds a hollow tree and quickly falls asleep. Old Bear dreams of the four seasons, picturing himself as a cub sleeping in a giant pink Spring crocus. Bear's Summer dream features a daisy as the sun and blueberry rainfall. The Autumn dream features the world in yellows, oranges, and reds including the birds, fish and water. Bear's Winter dream shows the wo
The leaves on the inside front cover and the flowers on the inside back cover orient the reader to what season we are in. The title page introduces us to a friendly-looking bear who is sitting fat and happy, and as we turn to the verso and dedication page, our fat and happy bear is beginning his journey into a long winter's nap. The illustrations are easily readable, and very expressive without words.

As the story continues and the text is added, Henkes does a marvelous job of telling the story
I absolutely loved the artwork in this book. As bear dreams about going through the seasons we are presented with wonderful scenes. Both the fall and the winter appealed to me the most. The cover it's self under the sleeve was also lovely.
Emily Ursuliak
Jan 02, 2015 Emily Ursuliak rated it really liked it
This would make a great storytime book for toddlers. There is very little text on the page, but the language is still rich and imaginative. I also enjoy the way colour is used to show different seasons.
Nov 20, 2008 Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sweet and very quiet. But my rambunctious grandsons loved it and have asked to read it again and again.
A very charming and beautiful book about the seasonal dreams of a hibernating bear.
Gabbie Capote
Dec 06, 2016 Gabbie Capote rated it liked it
This story is about an old bear that want to be young again. Throughout this book we see all the seasons of the year and how the bear sees them. I feel like this book could be used to teach students about the four seasons and what they look like. Some students may not know about snow if they live in an area where snow isn’t a norm. This book is easy to read and the images are very colorful and filled with life. The words help aid the images, but together they really help see and understand what ...more
Dec 02, 2016 Cheryl rated it really liked it
This charmer would work even better as a board book, imo. It's so simple and straightforward, but also lovely; tots would love a copy of their very own.

For a bit I thought that the bear was going to die. The dreams recapitulating cubhood certainly pointed to that. And if it was written by, say, Cynthia Rylant, he may well have died, and woken up in Heaven. That would be a neat book too.
Eric Hinkle
Jan 02, 2017 Eric Hinkle rated it really liked it
I've only read about a dozen of his books, but this one is definitely the most beautifully, lushly illustrated. It's a real pleasure to look at and get lost in, and a lot of fine detail for children.
Nov 30, 2016 Jill rated it really liked it
This is a cute seasons-book. Students love the real vs. surreal of the bears' dreams. Few words, great illustrations.
Jan 09, 2017 Mel rated it it was amazing
Loved the dreamlike and bold colors, and simple yet powerful story.
Jan 07, 2017 Melissa rated it really liked it
Beautiful illustrations!
Oct 05, 2016 Casandria rated it really liked it
Bear dreams about the seasons during his hibernation. I love the illustrations!
Betty Caporal
Oct 03, 2016 Betty Caporal rated it really liked it
During Old Bear's hibernation he dreams about all the seasons and his favorite things about that season. The pictures are also very colorful and can be use as a read aloud for the class. Great book to read when doing weather theme in class.
Lexi Beaver
Sep 12, 2016 Lexi Beaver rated it liked it
Shelves: rdng-350
Old Bear is an adorable picture book, with old-timey, classic looking illustrations. It is a simple story about an old bear who falls asleep and dreams about different seasons, and wakes up to find that a lot of time has passed when he was asleep in his cave. He awakens to the beautiful sights and smells and sounds of springtime.
This book could be used to teach the different seasons to kindergarten/pre-k children, as well as a discussion on dreaming and what dreams we can have when we sleep. It
Mary Lourdes
Book Review 2 – Picture Book

Author: Henkes, Kevin
Title: Old Bear
Publisher: Harper Collins
Imprint: Greenwillow Books
Edition: library
13 Digit ISBN: 978-0-06-155206
Price: $17.99
Number of Pages: unpaged

Includes: illustrations

Rating: 4 stars

Format: Prose
Genre: Easy Fiction

Old Bear falls asleep for the winter. He dreams of spring and summer. When he wakes up, it truly is spring. The language of the story is simple, but with imagery. The artwork is in the pastel style. The use of color is great; it re
Emily V
Nov 27, 2016 Emily V added it
Shelves: author-study
In this story Old Bear falls asleep at the beginning of winter and starts dreaming quickly. He dreams of when he was a cub in the spring, summer, fall, and winter; he continues to dream, sleep, sleep, and dream. After sleeping for a long time he wakes up and soon realizes that it is spring again and he is not dreaming anymore.

This story shows readers all of the seasons and shows that bear hibernate through the winter. The end papers of this book give the reader an idea of what will happen befor
karrie's corner
Feb 08, 2009 karrie's corner rated it really liked it
The leaves on the inside front cover and the flowers on the inside back cover orient the reader to what season we are in. The title page introduces us to a friendly-looking bear who is sitting fat and happy, and as we turn to the verso and dedication page, our fat and happy bear is beginning his journey into a long winter's nap. The illustrations are easily readable, and very expressive without words.

As the story continues and the text is added, Henkes does a marvelous job of telling the story
Emily Nunez-Eddy
Dec 03, 2014 Emily Nunez-Eddy rated it liked it
"Old Bear" is a fun, explorative book for young children, telling the story of a bear, dreaming about the passing of multiple seasons, including winter, spring, fall, and summer, that leaves the reader questioning how the bear will react when he wakes up -- will he be disappointed in what he sees outside, or ecstatic? What will await his eyes when he awakes?
Unlike some of Henkes other books, such as "Kitten's First Full Moon", or "Birds", which are rather simplistic in illustrations, "Old Bear"
Nancy O'Toole
Old Bear tells the story of a bear hibernating during the winter. As he sleeps, he is filled with memories of past seasons. When he awakes, he discovers that it is already spring. Old Bear is a gentle book, filled with soft, friendly illustrations painted in pastel watercolor and outlined with darker ink. The book differentiates between the present and the past through a clever change in layout and color. The scenes in the cave are single page illustrations, outlined in black, with black text on ...more
Chad VanDosen
Sep 08, 2016 Chad VanDosen rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
The pictures and text in this book really caught my attention. The colors of both the pictures and the font changed to go along with the season that the author was talking about. This would be great to read to students as they're learning about the different seasons. It's also a learning opportunity for you to share about how bears hibernate and sleep all winter long. I would like to read this to my students if I was a teacher in a lower grade.
Madison Hays
Nov 30, 2014 Madison Hays rated it really liked it
Old Bear is a children's book written by Kevin Henkes. It is about a bear cub that falls asleep and dreams of the different seasons passing by. He is enjoying them all and loves everything about each one. Suddenly he wakes up and realizes that his dream just might have come true! Beautiful colors and flowers surrounded him, how long did the little cub hibernate for?!

The illustrations in this story are very simple yet have a lot of background detail. Watercolor and paint are used to create the p
Emily Sirota
Old bear is reminiscing on the days when he was a cub. He goes back to the seasons when he is a cub, he goes back to the energy he had when he was just a cub. His sweet dreams are all filled with his sweet memories from the past. When he awakes he realizes something...

This is a great story told by Kevin Henkes. The details are insane in this book all the shading, sketching, and painting really show. You can tell the illustrator put lots of effort into the drawings and kept them very bright and h
Muhuawu wu
Dec 06, 2014 Muhuawu wu rated it really liked it
My favorite book written by Kevin Henkes is Old Bear. I chose Old Bear for many reasons.
First, I liked the illustrations because they were full of vivid color. Also, different colors were used for each season. For example, Mr. Henkes used light blues and white for winter. These color represented the cold and brisk air of winter days.
Another reason is because the illustrations look like the dreamy world Old Bear is dreaming about. The bright colors and big pictures make you feel like you are in a
Alyssa Pierce
Oct 04, 2013 Alyssa Pierce rated it liked it
Kevin Henkes does a wonderful job of showing Old bear experiencing hibernation for the first time. In this book, the reader goes through all of the dreams of Old Bear during his hibernation. Within these dreams, the reader sees how Old Bear’s imagination fuels what he sees. For example, during summer a daisy is the sun and it was raining blueberries. It is endearing to see these different ideas represent what we know. He longs for being awake and a part of the world. We see his idea of spring, s ...more
Antoinette Evans
Apr 25, 2015 Antoinette Evans rated it really liked it
Kevin Henke's paints a picture of warm, fuzzy colors for the reader in Old Bear. With every turn of the page, the reader is immersed into the bright, warm, and elaborate illustrations. Kevin Henkes takes the reader is taken on a journey of the seasons through the hibernating dreams of a bear. Children can relate to the youthfulness in the Old Bear's dreams. Old Bear relates to young children in the celebration of youth. Old Bear highlights the joy of being young, living life as full and energeti ...more
Mar 27, 2012 Diane rated it it was amazing
Shelves: a-favorite-read
Old Bear; Kevin Henkes (2008) Harper Collins Children

Late one fall, even before the first snow fall, Old Bear curled up in a den for a long winter's nap. Off into a deep sleep, full of pleasant dreams, he dreams of springtime and his earlier days as a playful cub -- huge colorful flowers as large as trees. Summertime with the sun as big and bright as a giant daisy, and autumn dreams with all the colorful reds, orange and browns. Even the cold winter made him dream of ice and pretty bright stars.
Nov 26, 2014 Andrea rated it really liked it
Old Bear curls up in his den for a long winter’s nap. In deep sleep he dreams about springtime summertime and autumn. The Old Bear finally wakes up, and notices it is spring once again. Even thought this book was not told in a poetic form, as I was reading this story I felt like I was reading a poem. This story flows beautifully and includes a lot of descriptive words which is why it gives this book a poem like feel. The illustrations are beautiful. Each season is complimented with an illustrati ...more
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Kevin Henkes became an author/illustrator when he was nineteen years old, working on a card table in his bedroom.
Today he's the author of many award-winning picture books and novels.
More about Kevin Henkes...

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