Bear Has a Story to Tell by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin E. Stead (Roaring Brook Press, 2012) is another distinctive picture book by the team that brought us A Sick Day for Amos McGee, Caldecott Medal winner in 2011. Ms Stead’s illustrations are likewise distinctive, but in a very different way from her husband’s. Erin’s style appears more detailed, while Philip’s appears less controlled.
In Bear Has a Story to Tell, careful brush strokes give the seasons a distinct shape and feel as Bear seeks out his friends to tell them his story. I love some of the spreads in this book: while a few are mostly white space with a touch of color, others are vibrant and bright, both in the beginning of winter and in the spring as the friends gather for an evening story time.
In the book, Mouse, Duck, Frog, and Mole are too busy getting ready for winter to listen to Bear’s story, so Bear helps them with their needs and sees them off until spring. And after his hibernation, he gets to welcome all his friends back in the forest as the new season begins. Will there ever be a time to listen to his story? I liked the simple twist at the end, and Raisin liked this story too.
Note: I read this book from a library copy for consideration for the Cybils award. I was not compensated in any way for my opinions.