Reviews for Visitor for Bear

Booklist Reviews 2008 February #2
Bear seems happy in this solitude and even has a sign posted on his house, "No visitors allowed." A mouse who taps on Bear's door is told to go away. But Mouse won't, and keeps reappearing until Bear finally dissolves into tears and gives in. Soon Bear realizes it's pleasant having someone else around, and when Mouse is ready to leave, Bear doesn't want him to go; he even removes the sign, declaring that it was for really just for salesmen, "not for friends." Watercolor, ink and gouache illustrations in a soft color palette show a comfortable, expansive house that seems to emphasize Bear's need for a friend to fill it up. The characters are highly expressive, making the pictures fun, and the dramatic text will lend itself to reading aloud. Pair this with Laura Vaccaro Seeger's Dog and Bear (2007). Copyright 2008 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2008 #2
"No visitors allowed." The sign on Bear's front door is clear, but one "small and gray and bright-eyed" mouse is undeterred. After Bear refuses to let him in, the mouse begins popping up in Bear's kitchen, and anti-social Bear -- large, round, and intimidating -- throws him out each time. The rhythmic text quickly falls into a pattern: the mouse surprises Bear, Bear gets angry; the mouse politely suggests "a spot of tea" or "a crackling fire"; Bear, growing increasingly desperate, orders the mouse to leave ("BEGONE!"). Denton's warm and inviting illustrations belie Bear's inhospitable behavior, and Becker's energetic narrative encourages listeners to participate in telling the story. Fifty-six pages is long for a picture book, but the story zips briskly along, facilitated by effective page turns and not much text per spread. The mouse's fourth attempt is the charm (or the last straw): when Bear finds the mouse in his teakettle, he breaks down. "I give up...You win. I am undone." As the tension dissipates, the story slows down, forgoing the predictable pattern and making room for something a "most attentive" listener who laughs at Bear's jokes. "No one had ever laughed at Bear's jokes before." At story's end, it's Bear who entreats the mouse to stay for another cup of tea. In the presence of a friend, Bear is transformed; both text and art handle the shift in perspective with aplomb. A surefire storytime hit, A Visitor for Bear won't wear out its welcome. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2007 December #1
The sign on Bear's front door declares "NO VISITORS ALLOWED"--and the curmudgeon means it. When a tapping at the door interrupts his breakfast preparation, he's quite annoyed, especially when he opens it and finds a small, bright-eyed mouse. Bear points to his sign and slams the door. But, when he opens the cupboard for a bowl, there is the mouse. "OUT," commands Bear. Three more times, the mouse raps and Bear yells. He locks the door and windows, stops up the chimney, plugs the drain in the bathtub and thinks he's mouse-free--until he lifts the tea-kettle lid and there's the mouse--again! "I give up," Bear blubbers. "You win!" Two plates of cheese, two cups of tea and two sets of fire-warmed toes later, the mouse promises to go. When Bear walks him to the door, he shows his appreciation of mouse's company by taking down his sign: "Only for salesmen--not friends." Charmingly droll, watercolor, ink and gouache illustrations, excellent pacing and the contrast in the sizes of Bear and mouse are a perfect comedic mixture. Kids will giggle each time the mouse reappears and grin with satisfaction when big and little become friends. (Picture book. 3-7) Copyright Kirkus 2007 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2008 February

PreS-Gr 2-- When a friendly mouse knocks at his door, Bear sternly points to the "No Visitors Allowed" sign. Returning to his breakfast preparations, he opens the cupboard only to find the mouse tucked inside a bowl. "Perhaps we could have just a spot of tea," the ever-hopeful guest suggests, but he is again shown the door. Despite boarding the windows shut, stopping up the chimney, and plugging the bathtub drain, the persistent rodent keeps reappearing. Finally Bear admits defeat, "I am undone," and agrees to set out a snack. Much to his surprise, Bear enjoys the company and shares jokes and demonstrates a talent at headstands. The visit prompts him to reconsider his sign: "That's for salesmen. Not for friends." Denton's softly hued watercolor illustrations capture the humorous interplay between the unlikely companions. The fastidious, pot-bellied bear wears a tiny apron while the wee mouse with a big personality peeks out of such unlikely places as an egg carton. The lively repetition and superb pacing make this an ideal choice for storytime.--Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada

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