Bear Has a Story to Tell-this week at Perfect Picture Book Friday

Perfect Picture Book Friday looks at Bear Has a Story to Tell by Philip C. Stead, a story about patience, caring, and friendship.

Do you remember coming home from school, bursting with a story about something amazing that happened to you or to a friend? Maybe you spent the whole day reviewing every detail because you didn’t want to leave out anything your family might find funny or fascinating. Finally, the end-of-the-day bell rings. You make a mad dash for home and burst through the front door. But instead of getting a chance to tell your story, your mother is on the phone, and it looks like she won’t be ending her call with Aunt Sylvie anytime soon. Your Dad is over in the neighbor’s yard, helping to fix a sputtering lawnmower. Your sister is dashing out the front door for her ballet class. The only one left to share your story with is Spot, and he’s in the middle of a tail-wagging, paw-prancing nap.

You wait…

You wait longer…

Dinner comes. The family, including Spot, gather at the table, and you can’t remember enough of your story to make it worth telling anymore. You sum up your day in a few words.

“It was fine.”

If this has ever happened to you, you’ll enjoy today’s picture book review beary, beary much!

Bear Has a Story to Tell

Written by- Philip C. Stead

Illustrated by – Erin E. Stead

Published by- Roaring Book Press – 2012

Topics – patience, caring, and friendship.

Opening – It was almost winter and Bear was getting sleepy. But first, Bear had a story to tell.

“Mouse, would you like to hear a story?” asked Bear with a yawn.

“I am sorry, Bear,” said Mouse, “but it is almost winter and I have many seeds to gather.”

Synopsis from Amazon – Bear found his friend Mouse, but Mouse was busy gathering seeds and didn’t have time to listen to a story. Then Bear saw his friend Duck, but Duck was getting ready to fly south. What about his friend Toad? He was busy looking for a warm place to sleep. By the time Bear was through helping his friends get ready for winter, would anyone still be awake to hear his story?

This endearing story of friendship and patience is a worthy companion to Philip and Erin Stead’s last collaboration, A Sick Day for Amos McGee, winner of the 2011 Caldecott Medal.

Why do I like this book? Many kids (and adults) will easily see themselves in this story and say, “I know what Bear is going through.” and “I know exactly how he feels.” But looking past Bear’s problem of wanting to share a story with his busy friends, Bear’s generous caring nature shines through far brighter as he puts the needs of others before his own. I found so much to love in this tender and touching story, and I hope if you read Bear Has a Story to Tell, you will feel the same way, too.

Learn more about Philip C. Stead HERE.

Learn more about Erin E. Stead HERE.

Until next Friday.

My Struggle Plus a Perfect Picture Book Friday Review.

I needed to step away from my blog for a while because being a full-time mom became more important. I’ve always been able to juggle my day between being a wife, a mom, and a writer. But after my daughter’s required eye exam to enter 6th grade, life took a turn.

I first noticed something had changed when I asked her to fetch my blue notebook, and she said the only one she could find was purple. Slowly, all colors appeared different to her. Then, she said things that were once red looked gray.

The eye doctor discovered she has an extremely rare case of macular degeneration for which there is no cure.

My father-in-law, a retired doctor, was a great help. In a matter of a few hours, he found a specialist at Lurie’s Children’s Hospital. But when I called to make an appointment, the secretary told me the soonest appointment she had was in four months. I cried. She asked me to hold for a moment, and when she came back on the line she said she could fit my daughter in at the end of the week.

The specialist found that the layer of cones which allows us to see color is disrupted in both of my daughter’s eyes directly behind each retina. Then, she said what I didn’t want to hear. “I’m puzzled.” She wouldn’t say what she thought it pointed to, only that we need to come back for more tests. While I’m holding my breath, experiencing a nervous heart, and fighting back tears, I’ve taken matters into my own hands. The hours each day I devote to my writing have turned into research hours to help my daughter.

When I came across book after book and website after website all pointing to the same list of foods that speed and foods that slow Macular Degeneration, I made changes.

Our kitchen went through an upheaval as I moved systematically from refrigerator to freezer to cabinet, filling garbage bag after garbage bag with all the “bad” foods. Then, I went shopping for the “healing” foods. With a will to save her sight, my daughter helps me experiment with recipes. And despite how some meals have turned out, she has been encouraging, tolerant, and helpful as we push on. As restrictive as this diet is, I’ve joined her because everything is easier when you have someone to lean on and share the journey with.

My picture book review for Perfect Picture Book Friday will be shorter than usual but seems appropriate because of what my family is going through.

Title – A Sick Day for Amos McGee

Written by – Philip C. Stead

Illustrated by – Erin E. Stead

Published by – A Neal Porter Book by Roaring Brook Press – 2010

Topics – Friendship, support, and caring.

Opening –  Amos McGee was an early riser. Every morning when the alarm clock clanged, he swung his legs out of bed and swapped his pajamas for a fresh-pressed uniform.

Amazon’s Review –  View it HERE.  Friends come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. In Amos McGee’s case, all sorts of species, too! Every day he spends a little bit of time with each of his friends at the zoo, running races with the tortoise, keeping the shy penguin company, and even reading bedtime stories to the owl. But when Amos is too sick to make it to the zoo, his animal friends decide it’s time they returned the favor.