Bears / story by Ruth Krauss ; pictures by Maurice Sendak.
- ISBN: 0060757167 (hc.)
- Physical Description: 1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 20 x 24 cm.
- Publisher: [New York] : Michael di Capua Books/HarperCollins, , c1948. [New York] : Michael di Capua Books/HarperCollins, , c1948.
First published: Harper & Brothers, 1948.
|Summary, etc.:||Captioned drawings depict bears in some unusual places and poses.|
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|Subject:||Bears Juvenile fiction
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
PreS-K. Before Sendak's early collaborations with Ruth Krauss, she wrote a simple picture book called Bears (1948), using only 26 words that were illustrated in black and brown by Phyllis Rowand. Now, Sendak uses the same 26 words (changing their order slightly and adding a few more in speech balloons) and illustrates them in more complex and colorful pictures to entertain another generation. The old artwork focused on the bears and their activities mentioned in the text, but the new illustrations add a dramatic subplot and a human element: a distinctively Sendakian human who looks a lot like Max in his wolf suit. This being Sendak, there is also a dog, here stealing a teddy bear and leading the boy on a merry chase through the rest of the book. And there are two visual elements that probably only Sendak could get away with: a teddy bear hung by the neck on the dedication page (rescued by his theatrically tearful owner) and a character smoking. The drawings are expressive and the tone is generally- playful-, though with a dark undertone. The relative complexity of the illustrations takes the book beyond the very young audience of the original edition. In fact, the whole drama may be best appreciated by an older audience, one that knows Sendak's other books and will enjoy a reprise of beloved, familiar elements. --Carolyn Phelan Copyright 2005 Booklist
Publishers Weekly Review
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Let the wild rumpus continue, Max seems to say, in Sendak's illustrations of Krauss's 1948 text-the hero's first appearance since the 1964 Caldecott Medal- winning Where the Wild Things Are. And a joyful fete it is. On the half-title page, a vignette of a yellow floppy-eared dog gazing adoringly at Max appears next to a spot illustration of a Teddy bear, dangling from a rope by its neck (echoes of the opening to Wild Things). When the boy rescues the stuffed bear and takes it to bed with him-leaving his pet on the floor-the pooch kidnaps the bear and, for the next nine spreads, hides the Teddy in a sea of giant ursine limbs. "Bears/ Bears/ Bears/ Bears/ Bears," opens the text, which spans just over two dozen words. Nothing in the text suggests the visual drama that unfolds, yet thanks to Sendak's canny mix of insight and playfulness, Max, his pup and Teddy bear appear completely at home in this furry wonderland. The dog darts between ursine legs "on the stairs" on one spread, and hides behind a shower curtain while the giant bears are "washing hairs" in another. Sendak fans will recognize the palm tree setting against a cornflower-blue sky for the bears "giving stares" (i.e., Max tames the wild things with "the magic trick/ of staring into all their yellow eyes without blinking once"). The pursuit continues past a parade of bejewelled furry "million aires" in top hats, berets and boas, where Max reclaims his toy. Just when the dog fears banishment again, Max welcomes his beloved pooch back into bed. The tale speaks to new siblings and dejected friends, but for Krauss and Sendak aficionados (the duo's decade-long collaboration began with A Hole Is to Dig-see Children's Books), this is an occasion for celebration. All ages. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal Review
School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
PreS-Gr 3-Sendak's vision for Krauss's 1948 story is pure gold. The 27-word text is full of possibility: "Bears-Under chairs-Washing hairs-Giving stares-Collecting fares-." In both editions, the hand-lettered, cursive font creates an intimate, childlike aura, but the similarities stop there. Phyllis Rowand approached the phrases as discrete concepts to be illustrated. Her two-color spreads show fuzzy, brown bears in performance, with touches of gentle humor. Sendak sets a full-color story in motion on the cover. In a scene both familiar and fresh, a boy in a wolf suit snuggles his stuffed bear in a themed room where the object of his affection is replicated on every conceivable surface. His dog is visibly annoyed, and Sendak's signature honesty in dealing with emotions is evident in the pup's solution on the title page: the bear hangs from a noose. Upon witnessing more cuddling, the canine snatches the toy, and the chase is on. The boy pursues the duo through a world of adult-sized bears engaged in the silly or serious stage directions. The youngster's persistence finally pays off, but the pet assumes the place of honor in bed. The pained expression on the bear indicates that the story is far from over. Children will relate to the dog's jealousy, the child's separation anxiety, and the difficulty of divided loyalties. Sure to spark laughter and original wordplay, this is the marriage of two masters.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.