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BEAR AT THE BEACH by Clay Carmichael


by Clay Carmichael & illustrated by Clay Carmichael

Age Range: 4 - 6

Pub Date: April 1st, 1996
ISBN: 1-55858-569-9
Publisher: NorthSouth

 A depressing fable about Clara's toy bear who longs in vain for a father and makes futile gestures to reach him: ``message after message in paper ships'' and a sand sculpture (``It is a hard thing to watch your father wash away''). When Bear describes his father to the sea, to a dolphin, and then to the ducks as ``someone who loves me just as I am,'' the ducks reply, ``No one's ever loved us as much as that.'' A clam is just as discouraging. It's left to the hermit crab (``tapping his borrowed shell'') to point out Bear's father in the night sky and speak the story's message: ``Some of us make our homes where we find them.'' That would be reassuring if it didn't sound euphemistic for ``settling for what you can get.'' Clara's presence at the end musters only cold comfort. (Picture book. 4-6)