Finding a Bear a Home: A Review of Where Bear? and Interview with Author Sophy Henn
Where Bear? by Sophy Henn is a fun imaginative book that takes readers on a journey from one place to the next to find Bear a new home. My kids enjoyed the sometimes silly and sometimes practical places where Bear could live, yet he always said "No.". The little boy and Bear finally try a snowy location and discover it's exactly where Bear belongs. My kids were pleased to learn that Bear and the little boy stayed friends and were even headed off on another adventure together.
Elsie says, "The toy shop is so silly. I like the cave the most." Then she makes her voice into an echo, "No, no, no, no, no." You'll have to read the book to understand that last part.
An interview with Sophy Henn:
Brock: Sophy thanks for joining us for this interview. We're always excited to talk to authors and illustrators of the books we love.
Sophy: I am so pleased your kids enjoyed Where bear?, that really is the best thing to hear!
Brock: How did you come up with the idea for Where Bear?
Sophy: I was playing around with some acrylic paint and absentmindedly painted a white bear in a forest. He looked a little lost and confused, "Where was this bear supposed to be?" Then I scrabbled around in a note book where, among a lot of other nonsense, I had written down 'Where Bear' as it sounded nice. Bingo! The story started from there.
Brock: Are bears your favorite animal? If not what is?
Sophy: I love all animals, I really couldn't pick a favourite, though as my next book is about a Panda you could be forgiven for thinking I had a thing about bears. I have a dog called Buster and a huge soft spot for guinea pigs!
Brock: Will there be a second Where Bear book?
Sophy: I am not sure, never say never! But I wouldn't want to do one for the sake of it and the right story just hasn't popped into my head. Yet!
Brock: My kids loved your illustrations. What artistic technique did you use for Where Bear?Sophy: Your kids have excellent taste!!!! I hand draw everything using plain old pencils, then I scan it in and put it all together on my Mac. But whenever I get the chance I love to play around with inks, printmaking, paints, you never know what might come out of it!
Brock: If you'd like to learn about one of Sophy's techniques you can see an illustrated guide on The Guardian about drawing expressions, and it features a bear.
Brock: Thanks Sophy for all the great answers.
Sophy: Thanks again Brock, I really appreciate your interest in Where Bear? and look forward to reading your review!
Order Where Bear? Here
From the Publisher:
This beautifully illustrated, fun read-aloud picture book will have kids everywhere asking the same question: “Where, bear?”Once there was a bear cub who lived with a little boy. But over time the bear cub grew . . . and grew . . . and GREW! And did things that bears do . . . and do . . . and DO! One day the boy looked at the bear and realized he was just too big and bearish to be living in a house. “I think it’s time we found you a new place to live where you can be bearish and big,” said the boy. “But where, bear?”So begins a delightful journey that reminds us that even when best friends are apart, they always stay together.
Praise for WHERE BEAR?:
* “[N]othing short of magnificent. Each page is absolutely charming and begs to be looked at again and again.”–Library Media Connection, starred review“[A] winsome debut . . . The catchy refrain, ‘Then where, bear?,’and Henn’s sophisticated matte-toned illustrations make for a zippy take on the ‘finding your place’ genre.”–New York Times Book Review“This gentle tale about friendship and home will give early readers and their grown-ups plenty of food for discussion.”–Kirkus Reviews“Simple illustrations in bold colors allow the bear’s repertoire of expressions — chagrin, boredom, and terror — to take center stage.”–Boston Globe“[C]hildren will gravitate to the rhythmic repetition and the graphic design. A notable debut.”–Booklist
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