The Bear That Wasn't (Dover Children's Classics) Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-05-22 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 38 user ratings

"Lief kinderboekje over een beer die na een winterslaap midden in een fabriek wakker wordt en niet erkend wordt als beer. Iedereen vertelt hem dat hij 'een zielige man is die een scheerbeurt nodig heeft en een bontjas draagt', zodat hij het zelf gaat geloven. Wanneer de winter nadert, hervindt de beer zijn eigen identiteit echter gelukkig weer.

De maatschappijkritische ondertoon over eigen identiteit en het recht om die uit te dragen is niet te missen. Het boekje staat vol prachtig gestileerde zwartwittekeningetjes, waarbij die van de (onder)directeuren (met een steeds groeiende schare secretaressen) het hoogtepunt vormen, al zijn de zoekplaatjes van de dierentuin en van het circus ook prachtig.

Een kleine classic.
" said.

"A 51 page children's book about a bear who goes into hibernation and when he wakes up finds that man has built a factory over his woods. Wandering around the factory men begin telling him he's not a bear, bears belong in zoos and circuses. Finally accepting what they are saying he works in the factory until it shuts down and he has no place to go. Lost and confused he finds refuge and remembers he is indeed a bear.
A cute story that also has a deep meaning on how man has taken over animals habitats and then they feel they have the right to complain when they wonder around areas filled with people. I also found it interesting that the author wrote the humans saying how bears belong in zoos or circuses, as if man only keeps them in captivity now. It might be cute in illustrations but the message is a sad one.
" said.

"Classic about a bear who wakes up to find a factory built around him, and everyone is convinced he is a factory worker. His experience of soul-eating corporate culture, each successive higher up ridiculous boss yelling at him "You're not a bear, you're a funny man who needs a shave and wears a fur coat...get back to work!" Humorous and poignant illustrations. An ending that will tug at the heartstrings of anyone who has been told by others that they "are" or "should be" something else than their true nature.

Trans and LGBTQI+ individuals may particularly relate to the pathos of the bear tying his best to fit the expectations of others, not being listened to, and finally needing to be true to himself despite others, before it does him in.

Why added to the "Books for Activist Families" list? There is something at the heart of an activist's soul, in this story.

Not only that, it is a story told with the skill of a master will love this book.
" said.

"I first discovered Frank Tashlin after I saw the cartoon that was made after his story. I was fascinated.

Everyday we are confronted with other people's opinions, judgments towards us... and we tend to believe them, forgetting that they are just opinions and that we know who we are better that they do. Even if we don't completely know who we are ourselves, we still know better than others. It is probably the only thing that we know better than others and we should remember this whenever we are on the verge of falling into the traps of their judgments.

How many times has it happened to you to feel sad or angry because someone else has told you that you are stupid, incapable, ugly or what-else? That only happened because you believed them. Because you did not realize that these are just opinions, not the truth. Even when the others really believe what they are saying, this does not make it anything more than an opinion.

I only wish that more children and even grown-ups read this story and understand the message it is trying to convey.
" said.

"The Bear That Wasn't has been dubbed a modern fairy tale or a fable for adults. In this story, a bear did what bears do and found a cave to hibernate for the winter. When he woke up, a factory was built around the cave. He thought it was a dream, but all of a sudden a factory foreman came running in and ordered him to get back to work. Despite the bear's insistence that he was in fact a bear, no one believed him. He tried to convince all the foremen and vice-presidents that he was a bear, but they didn't believe him either. They even took him to a zoo and a circus, and the bears told him he wasn't a real bear either. You'll have to read the rest to see how it ends.

This book has been re-printed by other publishers, but the hardcover from New York Review of Books is the best edition to get because of the size that capture all of the illustrations beautifully. Apart from the illustrations in this book, it also comes with a good message to remember who you are and be who you are, despite what other people try and make you into. A lot of people have said this was their favorite book as a child. and I can see the merit in it. It wasn't the best book I read, but it is a good book, and if you can find it for a reasonable price, then I'd pick up a copy. 4 stars.
" said.

""You're not a Bear. You're a silly man who needs a shave and wears a fur coat."

All too often, if we hear something stated as fact often enough, even if it is as patently false as the oft-repeated statement in The Bear that Wasn't, we come to believe it. And that's exactly what happened to the protagonist here.

As the book begins, our ursine protagonists sees the geese flying south and the leaves falling from the trees, and recognizes that this heralds the onset of winter...and therefore time for him to retire to his cave and sleep until spring. Unbeknownst to him, lots of men build a factory right over his cave--charted and mapped and surveyed, steamshoveled and sawed and tractored and axed all over the place. When the bear wakes up the following spring, he emerges, not into the peaceful grassy glade in the woods he was expecting but rather into the middle of a bustling factory yard. Still sleepy from his long winter's hibernation, the bear is still sleepily befuddled by the transformation of his environment when a Foreman spots him and orders him back to work. Sensibly enough, the bear says "I don't work here. I'm a Bear." After a brief exchange, the foreman insists "Don't try to fool me. You're not a bear. You're a silly man who needs a shave and wears a fur coat. I'm going to take you to the General Manager."

The Bear travels up the corporate command chain, from the General Manager through three vice-presidents to the company president, each with progressively less hair but more identical chins, wastebaskets, telephones, secretaries and windowpanes and larger more ornately decorated offices, each of whom insists "You're a silly man who needs a shave and wears a fur coat." The President takes him to the zoo and to a circus, where the bears themselves also insist our protagonist can't possibly be a Bear otherwise he'd be in a zoo or a circus. Upon their return to the factory, the humans put the bear to work on the assembly line where he remains for many many months. Alas, the factory closes just as autumn is setting in, and all the workers are out on their own. The poor befuddled bear, having bought into the repeated lesson concerning his identity, remains outside in the snow, getting progressively colder and more miserable...

...until at last he simply stands up and walks into a nearby snug warm dry cave with a comfortable bed of pine boughs, where he settles in to hibernate for what remains of the winter. Despite being told over and over and over again, he never really believed them. The book ends with "No indeed, he knew he wasn't a silly man, and he wasn't a silly Bear either."

Originally published in 1946, this book may not be terribly well known today, despite being made into a short cartoon. Or rather having Chuck Jones base a cartoon on it. The book's author, Frank Tashlin, disavowed the cartoon as it had been changed so drastically from his book; for which I can't blame him. They are very different. It's now been re-released as part of the New York Review Children's Collection. I'm not sure how popular it would be, though the lesson's one we all need to learn, and might be applied to a range of "lessons" taught to us all, ranging from gender roles to orientation to intelligence and appearance.
" said.

" kniha, ktorú prečítate za 10 minút. ale skvelo napísané :) " said.

" I like this story and illustration.I though the book taught me about important thing.It is about WHO ARE YOU?I’m me. I’m nobody else!! " said.

July 2018 New Book:

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