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A STORY FOR BEAR by Dennis Haseley

A STORY FOR BEAR

By Dennis Haseley (Author) , Jim LaMarche (Illustrator)

Age Range: 6 - 9

Pub Date: April 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-15-200239-1
Publisher: Silver Whistle/Harcourt

A tender, if unlikely, episode that affirms the value of both the written and the spoken word. When a bookish young woman, summering alone in a rustic cabin, sees that a curious bear is spying on her, she calmly begins reading aloud. Day after day the bear returns to hear more, not understanding the words, but responding to the feelings and expression in the woman’s voice. At summer’s end, she leaves her books behind, so the bear carefully carries them to his den, hearing as he sleeps among them, her voice “telling him a tale of adventure, and magic, and love.” Reflecting the story’s mystical air, LaMarche’s (Albert, 2001, etc.) woodland scenes are all hazy edges and diffuse light; his fine-featured, casually dressed reader projects an air of serenity unruffled by the huge, shaggy ursine listener crouching at her feet. Despite the bear’s bulk, there’s never a hint of tension or danger; instead, Haseley’s measured prose and the illustrator’s warmly harmonious palette combine to imbue the (seemingly) ordinary act of sharing a book with a deep sense of wonder. And adults willing to look beneath the surface will find a message about the value of reading to preverbal children, too. (Picture book. 6-9)