Bear Is a Bear

by Jonathan Stutzman (Author) Dan Santat (Illustrator)

Bear Is a Bear
Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

A gorgeous, classic gift book about the enduring love between a little girl and her childhood friend, Bear, from popular author Jonathan Stutzman and Caldecott Medal-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator Dan Santat.

Bear is . . . a new friend, a fellow mischief-maker, a protector, and a dreamer.

Through all the many ups and downs of a little girl's childhood, Bear is there to provide love and support. Until it is time to say goodbye . . . and hello again.

Bear Is a Bear is a tender and surprising tribute to the beloved companions of our childhoods.

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Will have adults and young readers alike reflecting on the indispensable natures of their own favorite stuffies.

Publisher's Weekly

When a parent introduces her infant child to a gigantic brown bear, it seems like misguided parenting, but after the kid slobbers and blows their nose on Bear, the two become inseparable. Santat’s digitized watercolor and pencil illustrations draw a striking, sweet-humored contrast between the scale of the ultra-plushy Bear and its sculpturally rendered, always growing human consort. “Bear is a soft, warm pillow,” Stutzman writes, as the tiny child blissfully snoozes in Bear’s huge embrace; Bear is game for both dress-up and ill-advised digging in the garden; when a lightning storm casts shadows in the child’s bedroom, “Bear is a great protector.” The child’s life predictably moves on without Bear, but one day, “Bear is remembered” and presented to the next generation as its true form is revealed. While the story line feels familiar, there’s real poetry in the declamatory, rhythmic text and a lovely, everyday magic in Bear and the child’s easygoing, unconditional connection. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)

Copyright 2021 Publisher's Weekly, LLC Used with Permission

Review quotes

"Lovely lilting language [and] soothing reassurances render the night magical and moving home an adventure in this sweetheart of a bedtime tale."—Kirkus Reviews
Jonathan Stutzman
Jay Fleck is an Illinois-based designer and illustrator who has illustrated many books for children. He lives south of Chicago.

Jonathan Stutzman is an award-winning filmmaker and writer. His short films have screened at film festivals all over the world and on television. He lives in Palmyra, Pennsylvania.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Balzer & Bray/Harperteen
Publication date
September 20, 2021
BISAC categories
JUV002030 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Bears
JUV040000 - Juvenile Fiction | Toys, Dolls & Puppets
JUV013000 - Juvenile Fiction | Family | General
Library of Congress categories

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