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Benjamin Bear in Bright Ideas (Benjamin Bear)

4.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  285 Ratings  ·  87 Reviews
Benjamin Bear walks on water, rides a square-wheeled bicycle, and wears a fishbowl helmet under the sea.

Benjamin Bear walks on water, rides a square-wheeled bicycle, and wears a fishbowl helmet under the sea. Told in the form of one-page comic strips, each of Benjamin’s adventures is a hilarious gag, a puzzle, a mini physics lesson, or sometimes all three. Of the first Ben
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 26th 2013 by TOON Books

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Community Reviews

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Apr 16, 2015 Lori added it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Benjamin Bear in Bright Ideas!

1)Each page is a new adventure of Benjamin Bear and his friends. The pictures and dialogue are very simple but have a comic punch at the end of each. The students will be able to read each one but then need to put the picture and words together to get the joke. In “Hot and Cold” a lamb tells Benjamin Bear he’s hot so he shears the lamb’s wool off, the lamb then says that now he’s cold so the final panel shows the kind bear (with a disgusted look on his face) knittin
Apr 15, 2015 Deann added it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Benjamin Bear in Bright Idea By Philippe Coudray Primary Book

The story plots are very short. Each page is a different story about Benjamin Bear. He has a new adventure every time you turn the page. It was a little confusing at first. I was not reading the whole page. There is a title on the top of the pages. The panels are large and easy to follow. The students will be able to determine the focus on for each story. They will be able to understand the stories.

I could use this book to teach speech
Probably our favorite Toon Book so far: Not a story, but a series of vignettes giving you something to chuckle at on every page. The jokes on these pages however, despite being so basic and simple that a 4-5 year old should be able to get it most of the time (at least with a little hint from the parent), are all the while amazingly clever and inventive. This is not crude, mean or slapstick humor, in the style of maybe The Stupids , or even George and Martha. No, this is a gentle, thoughtful tale ...more
Sarah Wheeland
Apr 15, 2014 Sarah Wheeland rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Benjamin Bear in “Bright Ideas”

Positives: This is a very cute story and a safe way to introduce the graphic novel concept to young readers. The pictures are detailed nicely and the text consists of simple sentences and lots of sight words. It will support emerging readers as the frames will help them track what is going on in the story.

Audience: K-2nd Grade, Language Arts, Emerging Readers

Applications: This would be a great and east book to use to introduce emerging readers to the concept of seq
Jun 20, 2013 Tasha rated it it was amazing
This is the second Benjamin Bear book and it is just as wonderful and successful as the first! This graphic novel offers single-page comic spreads that tell very short but very clever stories that are filled with humor. Sometimes the gag is visual, other times there is a verbal joke. What Coudray does best though is to vary the stories enough to make the book entirely surprising and great fun to read. One never knows what the next page will bring, just that it will be funny and a delight.

As wit
Katelyn Scharmer
Feb 09, 2016 Katelyn Scharmer rated it it was amazing
This book is about a bear and many other different animals. On every page there is a new story and the bear is in every story but most of the time the other animal changes for every story. The stories vary from the bear going across a tight rope with a rabbit to the bear walking across the desert with a ladder to make sure he doesn't get lost. This are all funny short stories that involve a task or a challenge for the bear and other animals to accomplish.

I think that this is an exceptional graph
Mary Birky Collier
EVALUATION: This graphic novel definitely seems to geared toward lower elementary students, probably grades 1 - 2. Although each page contains anywhere from three - five panels, the focus is on the illustrations. Many panels, and even some pages, do not contain any words. The illustrations themselves are focused, usually, on Benjamin Bear and whichever animal friends he is working on a "bright idea" with. The pictures don't seem to busy but rather simple--so that the focus is the challenge for r ...more
Morgan Hawkins
Oct 26, 2014 Morgan Hawkins rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
Benjamin Bear in Bright Ideas! by Philippe Condray was funny, quick read book. The book was separated into multiple little stories, one per page. Some of my favorite were Good Catch where his friend rabbit bets bear cant catch a squirrel, so when bear finally find ones that ran up a tree he pulls the tree out of the ground and takes it to rabbit. Another one is Hot and Cold where the bear sheers the sheep because he said he was hot but then the sheep complains that he might get cold so the bear ...more
Lindsay Weideman
Apr 18, 2014 Lindsay Weideman rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Primary Book #4 Benjamin Bear in Bright Ideas!

1. This book was very cute, but not my personal favorite. I think it is just because the pictures are not as enticing to me as other children's graphic novels, but I know kids would still very much enjoy it. The pictures and words are very simple, and it tells a fun story. It was about Benjamin Bear and his sidekick, Rabbit and funny bets that they make such as getting to the top of the tree the fastest and catching a squirrel. This book would be a g
Benjamin Bear always has bright ideas about how to solve problems such as crossing a stream, helping a lamb cool off--and then stay warm again--or how to rid himself of fleas. Each of the comics in this book is one page in length, and all of them are funny, quirky, and guaranteed to endear Benjamin Bear to readers. One of the funniest ones concerns his eagerness to help his rabbit friend achieve his dream of having a house in the woods. By the time the house is built, there are no woods nearby.
Feb 11, 2016 Hailey rated it really liked it
The graphic novel called, "Benjamin Bear in Bright Ideas" by, Philippe Coudray is about a little bear and his friends. Each page has a new story and a new message that is being taught. In each story, a lesson is taught by bear and his friends. Life lessons on what to do and what to do in certain situations. I really think the author had a good idea when writing this novel because with young kids you have to be creative in ways to keep them entertained and focused. By having a different and new s ...more
Peggy Dynek
Apr 19, 2014 Peggy Dynek rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels

1. I found myself laughing out loud as I read Benjamin Bear in Bright Ideas! This book is written as individual pages rather than as a story. School Library Journal referred to it as “The Far Side for the elementary school set.” That is high praise, and well-deserved. I really see this book as valuable for the higher level thinkers, or students are already mastering reading at a young age. Many of the funny events are ironic, or take a bit of background knowledge; though I think they would be en
Brooke Kelly
Feb 27, 2014 Brooke Kelly rated it really liked it
Benjamin Bear in Bright Ideas is a great introduction to graphic novels. It would be perfect for kindergarteners and first graders because it doesn’t require as much reading and it is humorous. The book does not have an ongoing plot, but has a new story on each page. Each mini story centers on Benjamin Bear and his sidekick Rabbit as they come up with “bright ideas.”

Text-to-Self: Benjamin Bear and his sidekick Rabbit have “bright ideas” like tying themselves together so they do not lose each oth
Jun 23, 2014 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: children who enjoy reading graphic novels
I found this book in the 'Easy Reader' section of our local library and typically I avoid that section because our girls consider the stories 'too babyish.' But I noticed that it was a Level 2 Toon Book and I know we like those, so I checked it out.

We all read this book independently and I was surprised at the nuanced humor and irony. It's certainly appropriate for young readers, but children of all ages (including me!) can really appreciate the humor in this book. We all really enjoyed reading
Crystal Sleeman
Positive and/or Caution: 27-1 page stories. Manageable chunking for early readers. The cover has as bear attempting to bicycle down a flight of stairs. Despite my students being 6th graders, I believe my early readers might be interested in this book as the main character gets into so many difficult situations they would find humerous.
Audience: Beginning Readers (K-2)
Applications: A unit on challenges to cause and effect.
Citation: (2013, March 02). Horn Book Magazine.
Shannon Rackoski
Feb 09, 2016 Shannon Rackoski rated it liked it
I did not really like Benjamin Bear. I do not think it was the book itself, but the graphic novel setup. I do not like that this book had a bunch of little stories that were a page long. I did not relate to this book, but at the same time it was a comic book and meant for relaxation. There was a different story on each page, and in every frame, it was implied that time passed. The pictures were clay like, which was throughout the whole book. The color scheme stayed the same which was reds, brown ...more
Steph Myers
Refreshing for grown-ups, but perfectly funny for the younger kids to whom it is intended. Simple illustration with bright coloring. Humor is not from violence/bullying/ill-will/insults, but from creative problem-solving and the zen perspective of Benjamin Bear. Intelligent, even paradoxical, humor. Calvin & Hobbes without the Calvin Ball and pontificating. Calvin and Hobbes might be a later favorite for the kid who enjoys this. A little repeat from Fuzzy Thinking. Same but different gags.
Jennifer Heise
Dec 02, 2013 Jennifer Heise rated it it was amazing
Shelves: beekman
My nearly-five-year old loves both this and the previous volume, Benjamin Bear in Fuzzy Thinking. Pretty much each page is a one-shot gag, with minimal reading (right now I'm doing the reading; someday soon I hope to see him doing it). The misadventures of Benjamin and his friends and relations, in classic-style comic-strip fashion, never fail to amuse. You don't need to follow an ongoing plot line or even be able to identify the names of the characters to enjoy Benjamin taking a ladder with him ...more
Feb 04, 2016 Salsabrarian rated it really liked it
Toon Books does a great job publishing graphic novels for the beginning reader set. This one is particularly delightful: each page is one scenario or comic strip as in the newspaper, with a single storyline and punchline, easily understood by children. There are a couple of head-scratchers (See-saw, The house, Bird-watching) but otherwise I think kids will enjoy this one.
Feb 25, 2015 Amber rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
I chose to read Benjamin Bear in Bright Ideas for my graphic novel. In general, I do not prefer graphic novels. They seem less cohesive, and the flow feels choppy. That being said, Philippe Coudray wrote a funny graphic novel. I laughed throughout the book, and thought the concepts were clever. I think children would enjoy the humor and follow the simple illustrations.
Anastasia Tuckness
This book is incredibly clever. Each page tells a short story illustrating a Bright Idea that Benjamin Bear has. Some ideas turn out well, some not so well, but in each instance the reader needs to look carefully at the pictures and think a little to figure out what's going on.

One example is called "Something out of Nothing." Rabbit tells Bear, "It's impossible to make something out of nothing." He replies, "Yes, but I can make two things out of nothing..." They come to a desert, which is clearl
Jessica Henry
Jun 19, 2014 Jessica Henry rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
I could see Benjamin Bear in my collection very easily. I like the well drawn illustrations as well as the easy to ready text type. It would make a great first Graphic Novel read for a student either interested in the subject matter or would like to have a good laugh.

This is an interesting book. Reviews show that "Benjamin Bear in Bright Ideas" is written for a Kindergarten to second grade level and the simplistic text shows that. However, the concepts and ideas that are illustrated through
Jun 15, 2014 KF-in-Georgia rated it really liked it
Shelves: library, r-e-a-d
This worked well in a R.E.A.D. setting for an older child who's dyslexic. He could enjoy the graphics and figure out the jokes from the illustrations, but not be overwhelmed by lots of text. And while the text might be rated as Level 2, the jokes are timeless.
Matthew Hunter
ALSC Recommended Graphic Novel Reading List, K-2. Such a good idea! One page comic strips that engage young readers with quick-hitting gags, physics problems, and random associations. The humor worked for us adults, too. Very highly recommended!
Kim Heimbuch
Oct 20, 2013 Kim Heimbuch rated it it was amazing
Reviewed by Avery, age 9
Inside this book it says that this author’s books are often used in the schools in France. I have never heard of Benjamin Bear before but I can see how kids in school could use these books to learn to read. Benjamin Bear is a bear who is very smart. This book is like reading short comic strips with Benjamin Bear and other woodland animals. His comics use creative thinking outside the box which not only make the short comics funny, but make you think, which is good because
Mar 14, 2014 Jen rated it liked it
Cute stories in this graphic novel. One or two page stand alone stories with few words make this a good fit for younger, early readers.
Feb 07, 2013 Tepcat rated it really liked it
Children love reading this book. They laugh and turn to their friends to show them the comic from the page they are on (usually "Portrait"!!) I had both boys and girls read it and even some dyslexic students. They ALL loved it and were anxious to check it out. The only downside I found was that it didn't easily lend itself to being read out loud to a group. I did do it for some first graders and they laughed for most of the comics. They artwork in the book is clear and lends itself to easily bei ...more
Apr 25, 2013 Lisa rated it it was amazing
I am a huge fan of graphic novels in the library. They appeal to avid readers and reluctant readers, alike. I received a copy of Benjamin Bear in Bright Ideas! by Philippe Coudray from the publisher. I have read it several times and recommended it to my patrons because I love it. The pictures are simple but expressive and the writing is so witty. In many ways, the simplicity of the humor is what makes it work. As an adult, I find much of Benjamin Bear's thinking to be simple and complex at the s ...more
Jun 05, 2013 Maureen rated it really liked it
This graphic novel / toon book provides readers with short, page-long comics. Each page has a title at the top and then the comic panels on that page tell a story about that topic. Benjamin Bear is on each page, but the stories also include many of his (unnamed) animal friends. It is very cleverly done and I think that children will get most of the jokes, but I think a few are a bit over their heads. As with most graphic novels, the drawings are as important as, if not more important than, the w ...more
Apr 24, 2014 Crystal rated it it was amazing
This is a collections of unrelated simple stories that finish as a joke. Hilarious!
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Philippe Coudray loves drawing comics, and his many children’s books are often used in schools in his home country of France, where his work was chosen by elementary school students for the prestigious Prix des Écoles d’ Angoulême. He relishes any opportunity to collaborate on children’s books and comics with his twin brother, Jean-Luc, who is also a humorist. Philippe lives in Bordeaux and enjoys ...more
More about Philippe Coudray...

Other Books in the Series

Benjamin Bear (3 books)
  • Benjamin Bear in Fuzzy Thinking: TOON Level 2
  • Benjamin Bear in Brain Storms!: TOON Level 2

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