A BOOK FOR BEAR by Ellen L. Ramsey
ILLUSTRATOR: MacKenzie Haley
GENRE: Children’s Picture Book
PUBLISHER: Flamingo Books
RELEASE DATE: July 18, 2023
“An endearing picture book that showcases the lengths readers will go to find the perfect book . . . this lovely book is one to seek out.”– School Library Journal
In this charming and heartfelt story, a book-loving bear and a book-loving girl hatch a plan to find the perfect book for them to read together.
Bear loves books. When Bear decides he wants a book of his very own, he and his best friend, Ellen, hatch a plan. But sneaking a bear into school, a library, and a bookstore proves to be harder than they thought. Will Bear ever find a book of his very own?
With charming and timeless words from debut author Ellen L. Ramsey and brought to life by MacKenzie Haley, illustrator of Dolly Parton’s Billy the Kid Makes it Big, this is an endearing story of a determined young bear and his journey to find the perfect book.
I have encountered so many great picture books this year, but A Book for Bear is hands-down a favorite. Its style, theme, and story gave me all the same delighted feels as some of my classic favorites like Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann or anything by Kevin Henkes.
Poor Bear. He loves books, and he loves listening to his friend – a little girl named Ellen – read from her copious stacks of books. But he really wants a book of his own to read, particularly one the color of ripe red raspberries (apparently even bears have cover preferences haha!). So Ellen decides to sneak him in to the places where she gets her books. Unfortunately, their best laid – and adorable – plans go awry in equally adorable ways. Children will undoubtedly giggle (I did) at the creative disguises and the inevitable shrieks of “A bear! A bear!” that derail everything and send the dynamic duo back to square one. And the adult readers will love the sweet & clever solution that finally works in giving Bear that book he wants so badly, an idea that celebrates friendship & teamwork and will surely inspire children’s imaginations to flourish!
Bottom Line: A Book for Bear is everything delightful and sincere and entertaining that I look for in a picture book for my nieces and nephews. And frankly just for me to enjoy too lol. The bright colors and endearingly adorable illustrations by MacKenzie Haley add further entertainment to the sweet premise and endearingly adorable text by Ellen L. Ramsey. I loved that there are a couple of repetitive themes in the narrative that will encourage interaction with young readers/listeners, and I can’t say enough good things about how Bear finally gets the kind of book he wants to read. In case you can’t tell, I absolutely loved this book and I think you will too!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 5 stars / fantastic!
Ellen Ramsey‘s love of reading and writing led her to careers as a teacher, a technical editor, and an author of stories for children. Her work has appeared in Highlights, Spider, Ladybug, Muse, and Fun for Kidz. One of her poems, published in Highlights High Five, won an SCBWI Magazine Merit Award for Poetry. Unlike Bear, she has never disguised herself as a furry giant, but she has dressed up as a bear. She lives with her husband and a collection of furry teddy bears in a friendly home in Pennsylvania. You can visit Ellen L. Ramsey online at EllenLRamsey.com or follow her on Instagram @EllenLRamseyBooks and on Twitter @EllenLRamsey1.
MacKenzie Haley is an award-winning illustrator of several children’s books. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with her two cats, Booger and Abby. Thanks to her parents, she has been an avid reader since she was very young, and can absolutely understand Bear’s love for books. She’s lucky enough now to be able to create more picture books for future readers to fall in love with. You can visit MacKenzie Haley online at MacKenzieHaley.com or follow her on Instagram @MacKenzie_Haley or on Twitter @MacKenzieLea.
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Penguin Kids is offering a print copy of A Book for Bear by Ellen L. Ramsey to FOUR of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What makes you want to read A Book for Bear by Ellen L. Ramsey (illustrated by MacKenzie Haley) with a little one in your life?