Here's another one I have to tell you about. No, I NEED to tell you about Bear Has a Story to Tell.
Here's the thing. I read books to children all day long. I'm lucky, it's my job. I love sharing good books with them. I love showing them how to read a book. And I tell them that even though I'm an old lady with gray hair, if I find a great book for them, I will buy one for me to have at home so I can read the really, really special ones, the ones that speak to me, the ones that take my breath away, over and over and over. And yes, sometimes I look at the pictures with a magnifying glass so I can really see up close. I don't know if they believe me or not, but I think they do.
You see, I don't believe that picture books are just for little kids. They're in such a hurry, kids and parents, to leave picture books behind and get to the "chapter books." I think people think it's a sign of growing up, to be able to read a chapter book.
But I tell the kids at school picture books are sometimes very hard to read and not to dismiss them so quickly. And this is where I bring in the "old lady librarian" who still buys them for herself part! The artwork is real ART, it's beautiful, it's important and "you get to hold it in your very hands!!"
I was excited to see this book in the children's bookstore I frequent, Pooh's Corner, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I was excited because Philip and Erin Stead's book A Sick Day for Amos McGee was a just about perfect picturebook, and indeed won the Caldecott Medal in 2011, and now, here was a new one by the husband and wife team.
I don't know a lot of things but I do know when something touches me deeply and this bear has touched me deeply. With a flick of a pen or paint brush Erin Stead has given character, expression, personality, warmth and charm overflowing to bear. Philip Stead's words are spare as his wife's art, but they do so much with so little.
Spend time with it, savor it, study it, notice it. Never will you meet a bear you will want in your circle of friends like this one. This bear who oozes patience and friendship.
If you have a toddler or teenager or grandparent in your life, gift them with this.