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The Bear Report

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  557 ratings  ·  133 reviews
Sophie does not want to do her homework, a research report on polar bears. Bor-ing. They’re big. They eat things. They’re mean. What else is there to say about them anyway? As it turns out, plenty. And when a polar bear named Olafur swoops her away to the Arctic, she soon learns all about the playful bear’s habits and habitat—from glacier mice to the northern lights—and, d ...more
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published October 6th 2015 by Harry N. Abrams
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4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  557 ratings  ·  133 reviews

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May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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This is such a cool book that teaches kids about polar bears in a fun way. It reminded me so much of The Polar Bear by Jenni Desmond.

Sophie has to do a book report on polar bears and all she can come up with is that they're big, mean, and they eat things. After a visit with a real polar bear who takes her on a journey through its habitat, she learns much more.

The illustrations are amazing
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Young Animal Lovers / Picture-Book Readers Looking for Fun Adventures
Uninspired by her homework assignment to track down three interesting facts about polar bears, Sophie is surprised indeed when one suddenly appears in her living room! Determined to share the beauty of his home with her, and to demonstrate that not all polar bears are 'mean,' Olafur takes Sophie on a voyage to the arctic. Here they observe the local fauna, listen to the whales sing, and take a nap on an ice floe. When their floe melts, and they wake up in the chilly sea, girl and bear must swim ...more
Gorgeous to see, wonderful story, have read this over and over. A young girl must write a report, chooses polar bears, writes her ‘three facts’--“They are big, they eat things, they are mean.” But wait, she’s visited by a polar bear lounging on the sofa, who says “We’re not all mean.” Thus begins an adventure with this ‘not-mean’ bear all through the Arctic, learning quite a lot, including saving the bear, too! At the end, back in the living room, a wide array of presentation parts are displayed ...more
Kristina Jean Lareau
Sophie has to write a report about polar bears and what she learns is magical.


This book, from end paper to end paper, oozes detailed watercolor illustrations, originality in approach, and easy-to-access information about polar bears. This is a fresh approach, a lovely story of friendship and imagination and truly one of the best books of 2015.
Nov 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Want to know how to do good research? Immerse yourself in your subject. That's what this books shows when Sophie is asked to write a report about polar bears. What a wonderful depiction of effective inquiry.
Sep 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I LOVE these beautiful illustrations.
Edward Sullivan
Oct 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Witty, imaginative, elegantly illustrated, delightful fun.
Kate Talbot
Nov 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Stunning illustrations that have my kids captivated. My youngest asks for this book more than any other!
May 16, 2017 rated it liked it
The Bear Report by Thyra Heder is a nominee for the 2017-18 South Carolina Picture Book Award.

When Sophie is assigned a report on polar bears, she's not overly excited. She thinks polar bears big, mean, and eat things. That's really all she can come up with until she meets Olafur, a polar bear who shows her that there's so much more to learn.

Olafur takes Sophie on a journey to the Arctic. He teaches her about whale songs, animals that live under the ice, melting ice caps, the Northern Lights, an
Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
A beautifully illustrated story, The Bear Report will have you falling in love with Sophie, Olafur the Polar Bear, and the Arctic.

An uniquely told story about Polar Bears, a young girl named Sophie has to give a report on Polar Bears. Without researching them, she writes three things about them. Her three guesses are proved wrong when Olafur, a Polar Bear appears in her room, and takes her on an incredibly adventure to learn about Polar Bears. Sophie soon realizes there is far more to Polar Bea
Carrie Charley Brown
Quick summary: A young girl becomes motivated to love her school project after exploring more. As much as I liked this story, it would have appealed to me even more as a wordless book. The illustrations are amazing! Super imaginative and utilizing brilliant use of color. The words sort of interrupted a big part of the strong storyline that runs through the pictures. The illustrations are that impressionable and really say almost everything. I still wondered if Sophie had seen this all on TV and ...more
Dec 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Oooh did I love this book! It had me from the feel of the nice thick pages, to the gorgeous illustrations, but then ... the story.
A young girl is assigned to find three facts about polar bears for a school report, which she does with no enthusiasm and quickly goes back to her TV. Well, the polar bear has so much more to teach her, so he takes her to his habitat. She gets a lesson in global warming, her inquisitiveness comes alive and she goes home to create a knock out report. Perfet on it's ow
Oct 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Sophie is learning about polar bears at school noting that "they are big, they eat things, and they are mean." When Olafur the polar bear visits with her, she learns so much more about polar bears. A lovely, charming story with bits of humors and glorious illustrations. I want to sing whale too! Perfect for kindergartener through 2nd grade as they delve into their first school research experiences. And a good reminder for teachers and librarians that research, nonfiction, and learning need to br ...more
Cheriee Weichel
Nov 09, 2015 rated it liked it
I wanted to love this book, and there are some aspects to it that I adore, but I'm always leary when texts that show wild animals in cosy relationships with humans. I expected this book to have a nonfiction component, and it does inform the reader about some aspects of a polar bear's life, but there is so much fantasy interspersed, that it begets confusion.
Heder's watercolor illustrations are drop dead gorgeous. I especially appreciated the two page spread where the polar bear takes Sophie to i
Panda Incognito
This book is imaginative, well-written, and has beautiful illustrations. I liked it very much, especially since it reminded me of something from my childhood: my mom, sister, and I studied polar bears to give a report at the zoo when we went on a homeschool field trip. No one really paid attention, but I learned about polar bears from the experience and had that extra level of appreciation with this lovely picture book. I wish I had a polar bear to take me on a tour of the Arctic!
Feb 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: f-and-g
The illustrations are delightful - both fun and beautiful. I think I would have preferred it without text though - I personally found the tone odd, as it seemed to exist between nonsensical and factual, and I'm not sure about some of the "facts" or suggestions in the book (the bear is shown eating fish but not seals, for example). Maybe kids at the right age would appreciate the tone but my 18-month old didn't have feedback!
Jul 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Lovely illustrations and this being a very warm day when I read the title all of the cold temperatures in the Artic were much appreciated. This was also an interesting perspective that the young girl, Sophia, needs to write a report for school on polar bears and Olafur, the polar bear, teaches her about his day to day life. Loved Olafur's love of music which was the whales singing.
Karen Arendt
Dec 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Beautiful illustrations, especially of Sophie sleeping curled up next to the polar bear. The story is fantastical but inspires Sophie to write a better report on polar bears after she visits the polar bear's natural habitat. A great story to introduce writing reports to generate excitement.
Michele Knott
Nov 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
We know a "being there" experience is the best to teach children new concepts. Thyra Heder has a real being-there experience for her character, Sophie, and as we see at the end, she has a lot to say on her her subject.
Oct 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is so lovely- the artwork and sparse text appear to effortlessly share lots of information. This is the perfect book to introduce a research project to young children, complete with a beautiful surprise under the book jacket!
Sandy Brehl
A powerful blend of story, science, and images ideally designed to capture both fantasy and fact. The young human is a perfect foil for the most appealing polar bear you'll ever meet, one that is wise and witty.
Nov 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
Homework assignments would have been so much more interesting like this...
Nov 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Uuum.... I cried. Yup.
Oct 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
that was spectacular. It made me cry.
Mary Ann
Beautiful. Wonderful gentle humor. I especially love how kids will be able to connect to this.
Oct 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Thyra Heder has an amazing ability to infuse her illustrations with sweetness that never ever turns sappy. This book is lovely, gorgeous, fun, and flat-out terrific. I love it.
McKenzie Mullaney
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thyra Heder’s children’s book “The Bear Report” is perfect for elementary aged children who struggle finding a reason to do their homework. Thyra Heder’s purpose for this book was to prove to children that there are meanings behind assignments they are required to complete, and, who knows, the assignment could possibly be enjoyable if the child has a positive mindset about it. The author accomplished showing the importance of having an optimistic approach to completing tasks assigned for school ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Heder, Thyra The Bear Report. Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2015. $17.95. Content: G.

Sophie rushes through a report about polar bears so she can watch television. But when an actual polar bear whisks her off to his home in the Arctic, she learns to empathize with and love these furry creatures. Suddenly she is interested in creating the best bear report ever.

The illustrations in this one are gorgeous, and readers will learn information about polar bears while being entertained by the story for
Amanda Brooke
Feb 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: primary-reads
This is a great book to share with students to talk about what a good report (research) should look like. How we might feel discouraged by the topic, but after we have learned the topic the report fills out and becomes interesting. A lot of students get discouraged by their .

Also, whenever I got to the whale pages, I would stop reading and the students would take over and they sounded like whales. Some of them recognized the sounds from Finding Dory, but some did not know that whales really sin
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I picked this up because I liked the cover art and I have to say... as I turned the pages, I fell ever more deeply in love. This book is funny. It's informative. It's beautiful. It has a wonderful, subtle message about how to LOOK and NOTICE details that may not be readily apparent, and another about the necessity of protecting the natural environment.

I think it'd be a perfect Storytime book for incorporating STEM. There's a two-page spread of whales that would lend itself wonderfully to queuin
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