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The First Bear in Africa!
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The First Bear in Africa!

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  53 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
It's a race to the finish as young Meto chases a motorcar through the African savanna. A girl is in that car, and she has forgotten her little bear. Meto must get it back to her! Taking a shortcut through the marshes, he comes upon his friends -- Hippopotamus, Lion, Elephant and Giraffe. Can they help Meto return this strange little animal in time, before the girl flies of ...more
Hardcover, 36 pages
Published April 23rd 2001 by Philomel (first published February 1st 2000)
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Sep 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a sweet tale of a young boy who endeavors to return a teddy bear to a young girl who visited his village. He meets many of the animals from the African savannah along the way and they all express interest in this new animal.

The narrative is short and entertaining and I love how the animals are named using the Swahili words for the type of animal they are. The illustrations are gorgeous and I love the expressions on the various animals. We enjoyed reading this book together.
Stacy Slater
Meto and his family are delighted when a group of tourists visit their home. Meto proudly shows his goat to the little foreign girl, and she shows off her teddy bear in return. When the tourists leave, the bear remains on the ground, but Meto, knowing how important the bear is to the little girl, enlists the help of the savanna animals in returning the bear. The girl gives him the red ribbon from the bear for his goat as a way of saying thanks, and the animals marvel at having seen the first bea ...more
Mar 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Two very different world's come together in this story. Meto meets an American family on vacation when the come to his village. They visit for a while but the little girl from America leaves her bear behind. Meto tries as hard as he can to get the strange stuffed animal to her before her plane leaves. While traveling to find her, he makes quite a stir in the animal kingdom since there are no bears in Africa before now.
Jun 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
For me the pictures are a highlight of this book. The bear is a teddy bear which a tourist has dropped, and the boy instinctively knows that she will miss and tries to return it to her. With the aid of the animals on the savannah, he is successful.
Oct 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: cultural, animals
I loved how the book not only reviewed animal names but it also taught the audience the animals name in Swahili. I believe that this would be a good book to read aloud to introduce animal names in other cultures.
Nov 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This sweet story is set in a remote part of Africa where tourists occasionally go to see a vastly different lifestyle then their own. On one such visit a young girl’s teddy bear is left behind and a young boy works with the local wildlife to return the stuffed friend to its owner. The illustrations are very expressive and lovely; a fun read aloud to share with children.
The Brothers
Jan 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: africa
A average story about a group of tourists visiting an small African village. One of the little girls loses her teddy bear and the little boy of the village races after her to return it. All the animals of the Savannah keep after the boy because they've never seen bear before and want to know what it is.

Nice enough illustrations.
Dec 13, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wunderschöne Bilder, die die Farben und Atmosphäre der Savanne aufnehmen und wiedergeben. Die Geschichte ist zwar ganz nett, aber nichts Besonderes. Daher 5Sterne für die Zeichnungen, weniger für die Worte. (Dezember 2013)
Feb 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: African animal requests
Shelves: africa
Not sure if I will use this, but a nice story of a girl tourist visiting the African savannah and a boy who chases her car down with the help of various animals to return her stuffed bear.
Oct 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
A sweet, delicate morsel!
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"When Satomi Ichikawa decided she would like to illustrate books for children, she visited a bookstore in London and copied down the names and addresses of publishers. She then simply walked to the address that seemed the closest, her rough sketches in hand. Today, she is known the world over as a celebrated illustrator and accomplished storyteller, and there are more than 50 books that bear the S ...more
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