Synopses & Reviews
An emotionally stirring book about kindness and friendship
Life isn’t easy for a bear. Not when he has to sleep on the sidewalk among cardboard boxes and old clothes. Not when he lives in a city full of people who are repulsed by him. Not when he’s hungry and homeless. But one day a young girl smiles at the bear, and he realizes that maybe there is something that could make life a bit easier -- a friend.
This poignant, heartwarming tale will move readers of all ages and inspire them to be more compassionate and empathetic towards others.
"In a more somber allegory than his previous books, Dumont (The Sheep Go on Strike) meditates on homelessness, as seen from the perspective of a hulking brown bear in a human city. 'I don't know how I got here,' the bear begins. 'All I know is that one morning I woke up here, on this street, and I haven't left it since.' Wearing a tattered coat, scarf, and hat, the bear sits against a brick wall in a shelter of cardboard boxes and newspapers. Encounters with passersby don't go well a doorman calls the police, and a butcher chases the bear with a knife. The city's bright colors only heighten the bear's loneliness and invisibility, and Dumont hits at human prejudice from multiple angles, whether it's the plentitude of food the bear sees in shop windows or the way citizens wrinkle their noses as they walk past. A girl who sees worth in the bear offers a moment of brightness, though Dumont resists a tidy happy ending. As a literal vision of the way society often dehumanizes the homeless, it's sure to be a conversation starter. Ages 4 8. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"A sensitive portrait. . . . Dumont portrays the bear,' the urban setting, and the human connection with idealized tidiness, but there is food for both thought and discussion here. A naked appeal to sentiment — but also to sympathy."
"Dumont hits at human prejudice from multiple angles, whether it's the plentitude of food the bear sees in shop windows or the way citizens wrinkle their noses as they walk past. . . . As a literal vision of the way society often dehumanizes the homeless, it's sure to be a conversation starter."
About the Author
Jean-Francois Dumont is a French author and illustrator who has created many stories for children, including The Chickens Build a Wall (Eerdmans) and A Blue So Blue (Sterling), winner of the 2004 Prix Saint-Exupery, an award given yearly to the best illustrated picture book in France.