Sunday, June 22, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 64



Picture Book: Bear Has a Story to Tell

Author: Philip C. Stead

Illustrator: Erin E. Stead

Summary: This book begins, “It was almost winter, and Bear was getting sleepy.” Bear has a story to tell before he hibernates so he approaches each of his animal friends and asks, “Would you like to hear a story?” Each animal is unavailable or busy preparing for winter. Bear helps them with their tasks. Then each animal friend scurries away or to sleep before hearing Bear’s story. Bear hibernates. At the onset of spring, Bear greets each of his friends and asks again if they would like to hear a story. At last, they are ready, but Bear can’t remember his story. With his friends encouraging the narrative, Bear begins as this book begins: “It was almost winter, and Bear was getting sleepy.”

Hanna’s Comments: At first reading, my interpretation of this book was that Bear forgets his original story because he no longer needs to tell it. Time and helping others has allowed him turn loose of that story; a kind of healing of his need to be heard has taken place. Instead, Bear tells the story of how he patiently set aside his need to be heard and helped his friends prepare for winter. Now I see so many other possibilities for theological or spiritual reflection and connection. This is truly a rich story especially if you're nearing Lent, a liturgical season remembering Jesus 40 days in the wilderness. The hibernation of Bear and his friends is an easy connection. This Author/Illustrator duo has another book here at PBT. It is a treasure as well and was featured [here] at PBT on Day 9.

Publisher & Date of Publication: Roaring Book Press, 2012 

Age and Grade Appropriateness:  2 and up, Toddler and up

# of Pages: 32

Available in Spanish? Not at present                                                               
Formats other than Book: Audible, Amateur videos on Youtube  

PBT Category:  Award Winner (Kirkus Review), Post 2K                                      
PBT Topics this Book Connects with: acceptance, action, belonging, community, dependence/interdependence, difficulties, encouragement, evangelism, friends/friendship, fruits of the spirit, generosity/giving/offering/stewardship, gentleness/meekness, golden rule/great commandment, helping, healing/healthcare, humility, labor/work, listening, neighbors, parables/stories, patience, presence, quiet/silence, respect, servant hood/service/serving, transformation, waiting   

Scripture Connections:  scriptures about waiting or time apart; Jesus in the wilderness; Martha and Mary (Luke 10:38-42); scriptures about the importance of telling your story

Idea(s) for Application: Read this book as part of a lesson on the spiritual practice of listening or how evangelism should be as much about listening as telling. OR Read this book before Lent to encourage folks to take time away to grow spiritually or heal.