The Bear Who Stared by Duncan Beedie
  

The Bear Who Stared

Written by Duncan Beedie
Illustrated by Duncan Beedie

RRP £11.99

Synopsis

The Bear Who Stared by Duncan Beedie

A funny and charming picture book with heart from rising star Duncan Beedie - now shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2017. There once was a bear who liked to stare... and stare... and STARE. Bear doesn't mean to be rude, he's just curious but too shy to say anything. But nobody likes being stared at and it soon gets Bear into trouble. Luckily a goggly-eyed frog helps Bear realise that sometimes a smile is all you need to turn a stare into a friendly hello.

Reviews

Duncan said: I like drawing animals with unusual expressions, I don't like drawing anything cute, and that's why I drew the bear staring. -- CitizenNews * Gloucester Citizen * The Bear Who Stared is an enjoyable tale from Duncan Beedie. It's a picture book with a heart, and the ability to make you smile. The Bear Who Stared is a very endearing tale, beautiful to read out loud. The wonderfully thick pages are adorned with Beedle's gorgeous illustrations - you can't help but fall in love with that bear! * My Book Corner * This is the first picture book by Duncan Beedie - The Bear Who Stared. Off the bat, I like the title and how that sits above the image of the bear staring (somewhat confused) out of the book at the reader. A great book for us parents out there with embarrassing children who like stare. * Magpie That * If you want to read the winning, first picture book of a fresh and interesting, new talent read The Bear Who Stared. The book (anti-stare, pro-smile - if you are keeping tabs) very gently suggests to children that pushing the boundaries of social norms can have consequences. The illustrations are bright and engaging. There is a terrifically grumpy badger and a happy ending. What more can you ask for*? -- Stephanie Cummings * Two in a TeePee * A cunningly illustrated book that explains the rudeness of staring, but also provides the explanation for it - a bear who is too shy to speak. Beginning - 'There was once a bear who liked to stare', the book then zooms in on the bear's eyes to show him staring out at the reader. It's a simply told tale, but highly effective because of the clarity of the illustrations - the floating expressive eyebrows, the constant zooming in to the animals

- 'gawked', 'trudged', 'strolled', and with many mentions of natural curiosity, this is a quiet message about politeness with an adorable bear. * Minerva Reads * With charming illustrations to complement the text, this is a lovely story about making friends and overcoming shyness. * Parents in Touch * After enjoying the story of Jim in The Lumberjack's Beard we were so happy to get our paws on a copy Duncan Beedie's first picture book, The Bear Who Stared. Published by TemplarPublishing, this book has been shortlisted for the Waterstone's Children's Book Prize 2017. In this story we meet a rather shy and awkward bear. Unsure of how to break the ice with his fellow forest dwellers this bear stares. He stares and stares. Naturally, all this staring makes everyone uneasy; the ladybirds shouted at him, the birds shooed him away and badger even took to biting him on the end of his nose. Sad and alone, the bear sits by the side of a pond and meets a wise frog who shows him the power of smiling. The next day he tries it out, smiling his way around the forest. Sure enough his smile lands him more friends than his stares and he even manages to keep the end of his nose safe too. Beautifully illustrated, in shades of orange and green, Duncan Beedie has skilfully created a serene and untouched forest setting for this story. The animals are so expressive with their big round eyes and eyebrows that seem to work completely separately from their bodies. My one-year-old likes the page where the badger has bitten the bear's nose and always goes to rub it better on the picture. This is my four-year-old's favourite page, a close up of the bear staring! We all find ourselves in the same boat as this bear from time to time; struggling to think of the right thing to say, a clever thing to say or just something to say at all. This would be a perfect book to help children who are nervous of making new friends or even to support others to understand how being shy makes someone feel. A stand-out book with endearing characters that tackles a sensitive issue with consideration and charm. * Acorn Books Blog * Duncan Beedie's early career was as an animator in children's TV and he then branched into design, illustration and animation for websites, games and educational apps. This is his first picture book and seems to reflect these influences as he uses a retro drawing style with strong blocks of colour and simple shapes. There is something rather endearing about this particular bear who stares out steadily at the reader from the front cover. He reminds me of several serious faced young children that I have come across over the years who become so inexplicably fascinated by a person that they fix on them and even crane their necks to keep them in view for as long as possible. What exactly are they looking at? Have they detected some magical quality that adults cannot see? I have occasionally been the subject of this stare which can be very uncomfortable and disconcerting, especially if one laughs it off and attempts some jolly banter as this seems to make the stare even more intense.We are drawn into his hypnotic stare with a double page spread that importantly just shows his eyes. The bear is very lonely and so makes several overtures to other creatures in the forest disturbing a family of ladybirds enjoying their very civilized looking picnic breakfast on a large leaf. I love the humorous detail here as one is about to eat a croissant, another has a piece of toast and another has a boiled egg. They clearly can't relax and so pack up and scuttle off to escape his stare. Another memorable moment is when the bear interrupts a very grumpy badger who is busy shaving and so he is bitten on the nose in true cartoon style (my two year old granddaughter's favourite part).The bear's anti -social problems are eventually sorted out by a frog who spots him staring forlornly into a pond, trying to make sense of his green reflection. He explains to him that he is just being curious and doesn't mean to offend anyone. The frog suggests that he needs to change his expression and try to smile if he wants to make friends. In time honoured picture book tradition, this simple solution means that the second part of the story allows him to revisit all the previously unfriendly creatures who respond very positively to his new demeanour. But he is obviously a bear who is given to introspection, so occasionally spends time staring at his own reflection in the pond, and there is nothing wrong with that.This is an excellent picture book with a very pleasing uncluttered design and composition that rather reminds me of the iconic Rosie's Walk by Pat Hutchins. It certainly deserves its nomination for the Waterstone's Children's Book Prize, 2017. -- Karen Argent * Letter Press Project * If there's one way to bribe BookBairn into reviewing your book first, it's by sending her chocolate in the post along with her book (see the video below). She was more than delighted to get a little chocolate bear with her copy of 'The Bear Who Stared

, watching TV or reading but best chances are when you combine two of those listed, and lets face it you can't read and watch TV at the same time!). And because we were able to read this one as soon as it arrived (which isn't true for all our book post) it has really captured her imagination!I love the message of this story. Learning to make friends can be hard, and knowing what to say can be nerve-wracking. (Whether you are an adult or a child!) But being armed with a great smile really can break the ice. And what a great thing to teach little ones. BookBairn has certainly learned to charm grown-ups with her smile. She flashes her pearly-whites whenever she can, especially if I'm trying to encourage her to say hello or goodbye but she's feeling shy and keeps quiet - she will usually give a grin instead!The illustrations are, without a doubt, the bit that BookBairn loves the most. First I should point out that the bear is orange, her favourite colour, and so instantly appeals. She is also a huge fan of the frog and likes to turn the pages to find him.The illustrations are simple allowing the main characters to stand out. I really like books that don't over-detail the background as they allow younger children to focus on the real story-telling action rather than being distracted by other extra details. Also, you can read the emotion on the characters

't need to read the words to see how they are feeling: another element that supports younger readers in understanding the story. That's not to say it wouldn't also appeal to early school-aged children as there is lots to discuss. Our only criticism is that I feel the book is a little too long for BookBairn, we've only managed to read it cover to cover a few times as we get near the end and she wants to go back to the beginning or back to her favourite page with the frog.This would make a wonderful gift for children who are struggling with shyness, or are about to go into a new situation like starting nursery or school, or if like BookBairn you are a fan or green goggly-eyed frogs or orange bears!

About the Author

Duncan Beedie has been doodling and drawing since way back in the early 1980s, lying on the living room floor, grasping a felt tip in his clammy little fist. He began his career animating children's TV before branching into design for websites, games and apps. These days he's a freelance illustrator based in Bristol, grasping a fancy digital stylus in his clammy fist instead, although he no longer lies on the floor to draw. He has a desk in a studio that overlooks the city. It's much more accommodating than nylon shag pile. Duncan's second picture book is The Lumberjack's Beard - available now.

More books by this author

Other Formats

Book Info

Format

Hardback
40 pages

Author

Duncan Beedie
More books by Duncan Beedie

Publisher

Templar Publishing

Publication date

1st February 2016

ISBN

9781783703746


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