Picture Book Perfect Friday – Bear

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Today’s return to Picture Book Perfect Fridays launches with one of my favorite British author/illustrators. Mick Inkpen is a master storyteller, both with his pen and brush! I believe many of you will be familiar with Kipper and Wibbly Pig. Well today I bring you, Bear. He will not disappoint, I am sure.

We are a group of author/bloggers wanting to create a helpful resource for teachers and parents incorporating picture books for pleasure and education at home and in the classroom. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill‘s Perfect Picture Books.  Or click on the Perfect Picture Book Fridays  badge in the right sidebar.


By Mick Inkpen

Published by Hodder Children’s Books, 1997

Ages: 3+

Themes: Bears, fantasy, imagination

Opening Lines/Synopsis: “A small wooshing sound. Then a plop! A bounce. And a kind of squeak. That was how the bear landed in my baby sister’s playpen.”

When was the last time you had a bear fall out of the sky and land in front of you? What, never? Oh, my, such sheltered lives you have lived! Well this little boy and his baby sister took this event in their stride. It was when he took Sophie’s biscuit and drink that both kids knew this was a real bear. They keep him secret, wouldn’t you? They have such fun with him at home and at school, and even when his naughtiness gets them into trouble. But, oh-oh, when the serious man in the serious hat comes knocking at the door and replies that yes, they nearly always do have to take away bears such as this bear, things look to end on a sad note. Except, as luck would have it, this bear has fallen into s storybook, which MAY make all the difference as to who decides his fate.

Why I like this Book: I love the cute illustrations and the surprise pop-up. The ending will thrill children and I am pretty sure they will look at their own bears with questioning eyes after reading this story. It is full of toddler make-believe and you just wish it could be so. the typical relationship between brother and little, yet-to-speak sister, is quaint. the books real charm lies in it simplicity both in language and art-style.

Activities: The main activity for this story is the discussion provoked by the end of the book.

I also suggest having each child tell a small story about one of their stuffed toys coming to life.

I hope you will enjoy our fall selection of wonderful books reviewed each week by around 30 book bloggers and compiled by the lovely Susanna Hill on her blog.

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18 Responses to Picture Book Perfect Friday – Bear

  1. Love the cover! 😀 It sounds like a fun story!

  2. Now this sounds soooo creative and wonderful. I am adding it to my list! Thanks for the review, Joanna.

  3. Cathy Mealey says:

    My son was given a set of Kipper videos as a toddler and we absolutely loved them! I was delighted to find the series of Kipper books and we enjoyed those too. Such plucky characters on such spare, simple backgrounds. I can’t wait to read this one and learn the bear’s fate!

  4. Patricia Tilton says:

    I am not familiar with the author. Thank you for the introduction. This book sounds like an enchanting story for young kids. And, with imaginations, I am sure they will look at their stuffed animals and wonder. I know I believed mine were real. Such a fun book.

  5. My teens and I love to sing the Kipper song! I love your line up top: …I bring you, Bear. It bears good tidings! And I just suggested my library purchase it!

  6. Mick Inkpen and Kipper in particular are favorites in our house. We went through a phase where we read everything the library had available. Still, I don’t think I’ve seen this one. Thanks, Joanna!

  7. Amy Dixon says:

    Boy, does he have the most perfect last name for his profession, or what? 🙂 We love Kipper around here too, so I am sure that Bear would be a welcome addition to the bookshelf. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Oh, this looks delightful, Joanna! I love that art! I’m going to have to hunt this one down 🙂

  9. I’m intrigued about the ending. The joy from the bear in the cover illustration is infectious! Great choice, Joanna.

  10. I must have this book. No doubt about it. Thank you, Joanna, for bringing this little bit of British delight into our lives!

  11. Tina Cho says:

    A very cute cover illustration! Looks like a charming book! I used to have a favorite teddy bear when little.

  12. clarbojahn says:

    Sounds so cute what with toddler imaginations. Love the cover. 🙂

  13. Looks absolutely adorable!

  14. I love the simplicity of this story and it’s attractive cover. Sounds so sweet. I have never heard of this author, but one I would love to check out. Thanks Joanna.

  15. Barb says:

    I’m starting my year with a bear unit so this is a perfect addition. Thanks!

  16. Sounds perferct for a little toddler I know. Thanks.

  17. Joanna…thank you for such a wonderful introduction to what looks like an incredible book (and author/illustrator). Love the make-believe aspect of it…such a lovely way to encourage kids to stretch their creative brains. 🙂

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